Tourists flock to 3,000-year-old underground city in Bayburt
BAYBURT – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoForeign and domestic tourists are continuing to flock to the famed “Underground City” claimed to be around 3,000 years old in the southeastern province of Bayburt. The ancient figures on the walls, in particular, draw great attention from visitors.
The underground city was brought to light in 1988 during construction work in the Aydıntepe district, 25 kilometers outside of Bayburt.
The district mayor and museum directorate decided to extend the visitor path to 850 meters after excavations in 2008.
In the first eight months of 2015, around 25,000 foreign and domestic tourists visited the city.
The work at the underground site has not involved any building materials and the city was engraved in a single section of bedrock consisting of tuff, some 2.5 meters under the ground.
The underground city consists of rooms, large areas, corridors, ventilating slits and lamp holes in conic shapes, along with a castle and galleries with vaulted covers.
The archaeological works have unearthed 4,000-year-old tombs and 3,000-year-old wall figures, showing how ancient the settlement is.
The underground city is thought to have been used by Christians, particularly for sheltering from danger, with a number of rooms, a kitchen and a pool for water.