Extraordinary Secret Places Hidden Under Turkey

Updated on Jun 25, 2024 | Turkey e-Visa

Turkey is a city of ancient wonders. The diversity of civilization and the rise and fall of great empires contributed a lot to the country’s rich history, archaeological and historical sites and the hidden wonder buried within the landscape of Turkey. In such places the history and past blends together making it an ancient wonder. The stones, ruins, floors, walls, etc., bring forth the cultural significance and architectural brilliance of the respective age or empire. 

Besides the ancient wonders which are visible or present above the ground, Turkey has secret places laying under the grounds of the country, waiting to be explored. Here are a few secret places hidden under Turkey, which are worth giving a visit. They hold the key to centuries old civilization. 

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Şerefiye Cistern

Şerefiye Cistern also known as the Theodosius Cistern. The remarkable legacy of Theodosius II in Fatih district, Istanbul, dates back to the late Roman period, 5th century. The cistern was built under the rule of Theodosius II, the Emperor of Constantinople, and officially renamed as Istanbul. Like the Basilica Cistern, the Şerefiye stands as a living testimony for the brilliant water supply system of Constantinople. The cistern was built to store fresh water collected from the Belgrade Forest and surrounding, through canals which are 250 Km long. The magnificent water infrastructure is made with a domed roof supported by 32 marble columns each eight feet thick. 

Theodosius Cistern was hidden under the ground for many years until the government took the initiative to preserve the historical monument of the Byzantine era in the 20th century. The Theodosius Cistern is open from 9 am to 7 pm for travellers on every day. 

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Derinkuyu is the best example of an extraordinary secret place hidden under Turkey. The underground city in Cappadocia dates back to the thousands of years. The city was constantly used by the Phrygians, Persians, Christians and Byzantine period. The 280 feet deep city has 18 stories and can accommodate 20,000 people. The huge underground city was abandoned for many years and later discovered in 1963. Despite being underground, the city never lacked anything. The 50 ventilation shafts provide fresh air to the massive underground city. The ventilation system of the Derinkuyu is considered to be the best one.

The first eight stories or floors of the city are open for travellers. Travellers can witness the ruins of prayer rooms, churches, wine presses, storage rooms, stables, etc. The intricate network of chambers, canals and rooms of Derinkuyu will allure the travellers. 

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Dara Cisterns

Dara Cistern dates back to the 6th century Roman era. The water cistern in Mardin province, Turkey, is higher by 6 meters when compared with the Basilica Cistern.  The structure of the Dara Cistern is considered as an archaeological masterpiece. The Dara Cistern measures 15 meters in height and 18 meters in depth with 10,000 cubic meters of water capacity. The cistern meets the water needs of the 40,000 people during the Roman and Persian eras. The ancient city also offers numerous treasures other than the Dara Cistern. The site includes massive rock-cut tombs, 1500 years old gravestones and an olive processing workshop.  

The massive height and depth of the water cisterns gained the name of the dungeon. The Dara Cistern played an important part for storing the water running down from the mountain, which was later used to sever the localities and Roman soldiers of the Dara city. 

Yeralti Camii

Yeralti Camii, widely known as the underground mosque, is an unconventional mosque hidden in Istanbul, Turkey. The unique structure of the mosque makes it stand out among the other mosques in Turkey. The mosque is accessed by two entrances, which lead to an underground tunnel, a dark place with a low ceiling structure.  Yeralti Camii in Karakoy, Istanbul, which is said to be a cellar or basement of the Kastellion castle. The history of the mosque dates back to the 8th century Byzantine times. The thick walls of the mosque contribute to the cool temperature. The green light in the mosque highlights the ancient tombs of two martyrs.

During the ancient time the underground basement of the Kastellion fort served as the anchor point for the stretches by the Byzantine to the mouth of Golden Horn. It played a pivotal role in protecting the Byzantine from various attacks by stopping the ships at Golden Horn. 

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Göbeklitepe, located in Şanlıurfa, Turkey is considered the world’s first temple. The standing massive carved stones of Göbeklitepe are around 11,000 years old. The T-shaped erected stones stand as a living example of the oldest man-made worship place. The stones are constructed by the hunter-gatherers of the prehistoric period. Each T-shaped stone weighs five tons and is carved with pictures of animals and abstract images, icons and characters. The ruins of Göbeklitepe gave rise to many human civilization concepts about the worship and lifestyle habits of the ancient people.

The hillside place was discovered in 1994, the Neolithic site along with the surrounding landscape is an archaeological monument. Every aspect of the site excites the travellers and it offers a journey through time that fascinates the travellers with its rich history. 

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Turkey is an amazing tourist destination to experience an exciting vacation. The centuries old ancient cities and sites of Turkey allure the travellers with their charm and beauty. Every monument that stands above and beneath the ground of Turkey beholds a unique importance dating to the particular period. The significance of the ancient site contributes to the country’s rich history and diverse civilization. Never miss to add the above-mentioned secret places hidden in Turkey while planning a Turkey trip.


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