Tatlarin Underground City

Tatlarin Underground City

Located in the Acigol district of Nevsehir province, Tatlarin Underground City is considered one of the most significant underground cities in the Cappadocia region. Its discovery dates back to 1975 when the original entrance collapsed, and it has been open to the public since 1991 after a restoration project was carried out.

Currently, only two floors of Tatlarin Underground City are open to visitors, although more are expected to open soon. While many nearby churches have disappeared due to natural erosions and collapses, the city remains largely intact.

Tatlarin Underground City

One of the most unique features of this underground city is the presence of toilets. Few underground cities in Cappadocia have toilets, with the only other known location being a single site near Guzelyurt. Tatlarin also stands out for the size of its chambers and its high food stocks. It is believed to have served as a Roman military garrison, with three skeletons discovered in the city hypothesized to belong to Romans.

Access to the underground city is through a 15-meter-long passageway, as the original entrance has been destroyed. The passageway opens into a large hall, which is sealed by a sliding stone that can only be opened from the inside. This mechanism served as a defense against invaders or animals.

In the Tatlarin Underground City, archaeologists discovered three skeletons in a hall, indicating they were likely buried during the Roman era and later used as a kitchen during the Byzantine period. Interestingly, evidence suggests that the graves were dug even deeper to accommodate additional food storage.

The underground city consists of two large halls connected by a zig-zag corridor, featuring a trap and stone sliding door to deter intruders. Five food storage areas are carved into the floor, supported by sturdy columns, with a ventilation well providing access to the upper parts of the city.

Near the entrance of the underground city stands a church, with murals adorning its walls despite a section of two naves having collapsed. The images depict Mary with Jesus, Archangels Michael and Gabriel, and scenes such as Anastasis, Entry into Jerusalem, Crucifixion, and Transfiguration. The portraits of nine saints are also on display, along with secular pictures of Constantine the Great and his mother Helena, alongside donors who contributed to the church's construction.