Aydıntepe, 25km northwest of Bayburt.
All year daily.
Adults TRL 5, Children TRL 3.
|Guided tours:||L=850m. V=15,500/a  V=200,000/a  V=35,000/a |
|Address:||Yeraltı Şehri Parkı, Hacı Ali Efendi, Atatürk Cd. No:2, 69500 Aydıntepe/Bayburt|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1988||underground city discovered by accident during construction work.|
|1996||park above the underground city opened to the public.|
|2008||under protection by the Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board.|
|2008||city opened to the public.|
Aydıntepe Yeraltı Şehri (Aydintepe Underground City) is a Byzantine era underground city. It consists of galleries, small rooms and larger areas connected to these rooms. The small rooms measuring 1m by 2m open into larger galleries, which in turn open into halls. Cone-shaped holes are believed to have been used for the observation or air circulation in the ceilings of the galleries.
This cave city is quite exceptional as it is the only one which is not in Cappadocia. The reason why they are all located in Cappadocia is geologic: the ash layers are easy to dig, while the hard cap rock protects the structures below and increases the stability. That's a result of the unique volcanic eruption in this area. Outside of Cappadocia such a tufa layer is rather exceptional and rare. Aydintepe Underground City was actually built into conglomerate.
This is obviously the most important of all underground cities in Cappadocia, according to Haşim Şentürk, the Mayor of the town it has 4km of undiscovered passages towards the east and west side. He plans to unearth these 4 kilometers and develop them for tourism. And according to Aydıntepe District Governor Mustafa Akın it was used as a shelter to escape Roman persecution in the early periods of Christianity and is thus 3,000 years old. While all sites in Turkey are quite high on the bullshit scale, this one is higher than most. There is actually not a single hard fact to be found on the web, if there are scientific reports they are in turkish and not online available. Newspapers report 18,500, 25,000, 30,000 to 35,000 or 200,000 visitors for the year 2019. That's definitely weird. Nevertheless we believe the site is real and not just an aprils fool fake.