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Tatlarin Underground City


Tatlarin Underground City is a fascinating underground complex located in the Acigol district of the Nevsehir province in Turkey. This city was only discovered in 1975 because its original entrance had collapsed, but thanks to a restoration project that has been carried out, it has been open to public visits since 1991. The city was likely used as a Roman military garrison and is thought to have served as a place for food storage and a hideout during times of war.

Currently, only two floors of the city are open to visitors, but more will be opened soon. One of the most interesting features of Tatlarin Underground City is the existence of toilets, which is not commonly found in other underground cities in the region. There are only a few toilets available in Cappadocia underground cities, and the only other spot with this kind of toilet is a single site close to Guzelyurt.

The passageway to the entrance of the underground city is about 15 meters long and opens into a large hall that is sealed by a sliding stone which can only be opened from inside. This hall served as a defense mechanism against invaders or animals. Three skeletons were found on the right side of the hall, which were theorized to belong to Romans and were later used as a kitchen during Byzantine times.

One large hall is connected to a second large area with an intricate zig-zag-shaped corridor. This section has five food storage areas carved into the floor supported by strong columns, and a trap and stone sliding door against intruders. A ventilation well in the ceiling provides access to parts of the city above.

Just to the right of the entrance to the underground city, there is a church that has many murals. Although one section of two naves has collapsed, many murals can still be seen. The murals depict biblical scenes and include Mary with Jesus as well as Archangels Michael and Gabriel, Anastasis (Christ’s resurrection), Entry into Jerusalem (from Mark 11:1-11), the Crucifixion from John 19:14-18, and the Transfiguration from Matthew 17:2-9. There are also portraits of nine other saints to view. The secular pictures show Constantine the Great with his mother Helena followed by some donors who funded construction of the church.

To reach Tatlarin Underground City, you can take a bus or drive to Nevsehir province and then to the Acigol district. The city is located in a remote area and can only be accessed by a short walk from the parking lot. Once inside, there are stairs and narrow passageways to navigate, so comfortable shoes are recommended. The city is not recommended for people with claustrophobia, as some areas can be quite cramped. Visitors can explore the two open floors and marvel at the intricate tunnels, chambers, and storage areas.

In conclusion, Tatlarin Underground City is a unique and historically significant site in Cappadocia that provides a glimpse into the region’s past. It is a must-see destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, or just looking for an adventurous experience.

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