Located 5 minutes away from St. Mercurius Underground City, in Aksaray’s rural town of Saratlı (part of the world-renowned Cappadocia region), Saratli Kirkgoz Underground City was a shelter for the early Christians who were running away from the prosecutions of the Romans.
Saratli Kirkgoz Underground City
The foundation of Saratli Kirkgoz (Saratlı Kırkgöz with Turkish characters) Underground City was set when the volcanic Mount Hasan (now dormant) erupted millions of years ago. Milleniums after, the people who came to the area built underground cities by carving and shaping the volcanic stone layers.
Saratli Kirkgoz Underground City has 7 floors, but only the top 3 ones are open for visitors. There 40 units in total that you can see, which were used as residential units, toilets and food storage rooms by the ancient Greek residents.
Like every other underground city complex in Cappadocia, Saratli Kirkgöz Underground City also served as a shelter for the early Christians who were escaping from the violent punishments of the Romans.
This settlement was a very self-sufficient complex. Sometimes, the residents of this city were not able to go out for months, so they built the city considering the possible vital needs they might have in the long run. As a result, the underground city had its own bakery, a water well and an advanced ventilation system which consistently provided fresh air to the units in the city.
Support the Locals Selling Handcrafts
When I was at the entrance of the underground city, two very cute grandmas approached me and asked if I would want to see their handmade dolls. I told them that I would love to once I visited the site. After I left the exit, I saw that they had set a wooden stall to display their works. I bought two dolls and had great time chatting with these two cute grandmas.
Seeing the locals who are selling their works at the touristic spots in Turkey is a common sight. You can also support them by purchasing their goods. It is very important for these people to support themselves. A dollar you give to these people can make a big difference for them.
The underground city can be visited from 10am to 8pm in summers (1 April – 1 October) and from 8am to 7pm in winters (1 October – 1 April). The site is closed on weekends and Mondays.
The entrance fee is 12₺ and free for Museum Pass owners. If you do not know what Museum Pass is, it is a card that allows you free or discounted passage at any ancient site in Turkey that is run by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Click to see the types of Museum Pass.