Underground Cities of Cappadocia - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Underground Cities of Cappadocia

Underground Cities of Cappadocia

Central Cappadocia was overlooked by most as a dusty, infertile and barren landscape, making it a perfect refuge for the early Christians who established the first Christian communities here. They carved chambers, vaults and labyrinthine tunnels into the soft volcanic rock for use as churches, stables and homes. Of the 40 underground cities and settlements discovered in the area, Derinkuyu and Kaymakli are the biggest and most interesting, inhabited by Christians fleeing persecution in the 7th century and hiding from Arab invasions. These cities were well-hidden complexes, a safe and self-sufficient environment that could accommodate up to 30,000 people. The most thoroughly excavated is Derinkuyu, consisting of eight floors with stables, a school room and dining hall, churches, kitchens, living quarters, wine cellars, store rooms and a dungeon. Original airshafts still function and the maze of tunnels and rooms are well lit. Kaymakli is similar but smaller with only five of its levels having been excavated so far.

Information & Facts

Turkish is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.

The official currency is the New Turkish Lira (TRY), which was introduced on 1 January 2005, whereby six zeros were dropped from the TL and the sub-unit New Kurush was created. Currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange booths, post offices, airports and ferry ports; banks have the worst rates and highest commissions, but will exchange lesser known foreign currencies. Banks open mainly Monday to Friday, but some are open daily in tourist areas. ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas, but Turkish ATM keypads usually do not have letters of the alphabet on their keys. Most bank branches have ATMs which accept Cirrus and Plus. Major credit cards are widely accepted; the most popular are Visa or MasterCard, but American Express is accepted in many of the more expensive places. Travellers cheques can be exchanged at some banks and currency exchange offices, but are not as welcome as cash or credit cards. US dollars or Euros are preferred. Some pensions and hotels in the most popular destinations accept US dollars as payment.

Opening Times
Daily 8am-5pm
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