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Incredible Byzantine underground city in Turkey that runs 18 storeys deep discovered by local who was renovating his home

Incredible Byzantine underground city in Turkey that runs 18 storeys deep discovered by local who was renovating his home 17

These stunning images show the underground 18-storey city discovered by chance by a man renovating his home.

In 1963, a Turkish dad knocked down a wall in his basement, revealing a secret room which led to an underground tunnel that took him to the ancient city of Derinkuyu.

Photos of the preserved city document how 20,000 people – including livestock and entire food supplies – could have lived 85m beneath the earth.

Thought to have been created during the Byzantine era in 780-1180AD, the network of kitchens, stables, churches, tombs, wells, communal rooms and schools was most likely used as a bunker to protect inhabitants from the Arab–Byzantine wars.

Incredible Byzantine underground city in Turkey that runs 18 storeys deep discovered by local who was renovating his home 19
The ancient city has become a popular tourist attraction for the region (Image: Getty Images)
Incredible Byzantine underground city in Turkey that runs 18 storeys deep discovered by local who was renovating his home 20
Located in Derinkuyu, Turkey the network of tunnels runs 85m deep (Image: Getty Images)
Incredible Byzantine underground city in Turkey that runs 18 storeys deep discovered by local who was renovating his home 21
Cave-like chapels and Greek inscriptions can be seen still to this day (Image: Getty Images)

During this time, cave-like chapels and Greek inscriptions were added to the ancient city , and about 600 entrances allowed people to come and go.

Heavy stone doors could close Derinkuyu from the inside in order to fend off intruders, and each storey could be shut off individually.

Amazingly, Derinkuyu isn’t the only one of its kind – though it’s in the running to be one of the largest underground cities.

The hidden community, in the region of Cappadocia, is connected to other subterranean cities by tunnels stretching several miles.

Incredible Byzantine underground city in Turkey that runs 18 storeys deep discovered by local who was renovating his home 22
It is thought that the city could hold up to 20,000 people as well as livestock and food (Image: Getty Images)
Incredible Byzantine underground city in Turkey that runs 18 storeys deep discovered by local who was renovating his home 23
Heavy stone doors could close Derinkuyu from the inside to fend off intruders (Image: Getty Images)
Incredible Byzantine underground city in Turkey that runs 18 storeys deep discovered by local who was renovating his home 24
Stunning caves were connected to other underground cities by long tunnels (Image: Getty Images)
Incredible Byzantine underground city in Turkey that runs 18 storeys deep discovered by local who was renovating his home 25
City is thought to have been created during the Byzantine era in 780-1180AD (Image: Getty Images)

Only about half of Derinkuyu is accessible, but the site has proved to be a popular tourist attraction.

The historical region in Central Anatolia also attracts visitors with its incredible geological, historic, and cultural features, including rock formations and spires known as ‘fairy chimneys

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