Aydıntepe Yeraltı Şehri

Yeraltı Şehri Parkı


Useful Information

Location: Aydıntepe, 25 km northwest of Bayburt.
(40.388556, 40.150880)
Open: All year daily.
[2021]
Fee: Adults TRL 5, Children TRL 3.
[2021]
Classification: SubterraneaUnderground City
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=1000 m.
Guided tours: L=850 m. V=15,500/a [2018] V=200,000/a [2019] V=35,000/a [2019]
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:  
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.

History

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.

Description

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 1 m by 2 m 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 4 km 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.