During a simple renovation of his home in 1963, a Turkish man made the discovery of a lifetime. Behind a demolished wall was a secret room, which was the first glimpse at a lost underground city. Not seen since the people of the area were expelled during a war, the city is the deepest of its kind, reaching 18 stories beneath the earth. An intricate series of tunnels connect the various rooms and "buildings" of the city, all carved from the soft, volcanic rock of the region.
Historians estimate that the city was built around 8 BCE, and was used and even expanded for thousands of years. It was a handy place to defend against invading armies.
Wells were accessed from the first level below the ground, protecting drinking water from contamination.
The entire city of approximately 20,000 residents could be closed off using large, round stones.
Many of the various chambers have been identified for specific uses, such as schools and churches.
Some of the craftsmanship is simply amazing.
Deep within the city, ventilation shafts provide fresh air.
This incredible labyrinth is actually open to tourists, although most of it requires a guide.
Credit: Sunny Skyz