Saratlı Kırkgöz Yeraltı Şehri

Saratlı Kırkgöz Underground City


Useful Information

Location: Saratlı town. 50 km from Nevşehir, 22 km from Aksaray.
(38.445023, 34.234785)
Open:  
Fee:  
Classification: SubterraneaUnderground City
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension:  
Guided tours: D=20 min.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Saratlı Kırkgöz Yeraltı Şehri, 68900 Saratlı/Gülağaç/Aksaray,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

2001 opened to the public.

Description

photography
Underground City, Cappadocia, Turkey. Public Domain.
photography
Underground City, Cappadocia, Turkey. Public Domain.

Saratlı Kırkgöz Yeraltı Şehri (Saratlı Kırkgöz Underground City) is said to be the favorite underground city for foreign tourists. The reason is probably that it is located on the Silk Road and at the entrance of Cappadocia. During tourist season the site is sometimes crowded, and as a result a second underground city at the same town, named St. Mercurius, was opened to the public.

Three levels with some 40 rooms were developed for public inspection, including the toilets and the bath. But the city is estimated to have had seven levels. Actually we are not sure why the number of levels should be estimated, probably because lower parts of the city are collapsed.

Like in the other cities the entrances are closed by huge millstones which were rolled in front of the opening. They were only accessible from the inside, when in place the outside looked like solid rock. Close to the entrance are two chambers which were used as barn, one has 14 animal feeders, the other seven. On the second floor a well is reached, which was also used as a ventilation shaft. Open to the surface, water could be draws from above ground and from below ground. Beneath the well a tandoor, a cylindrical oven used for cooking and baking, was carved into the ground. The reason is probably the proximity of the ventilation shaft to get rid of the smoke it produces. The different levels are connected by inclined tunnels, probably to allow easier access with carts or animals.

The city was started during Roman times by Christs taking refuge from Roman oppression. People did not live in the city continually, it was used only during raids or wars, sometimes for a week, or even for a month.