Some caves had absolutely vast numbers of people dwelling in them. The Derinkuyu underground city is a place you can visit a short bus ride away from Goereme where a Christian community lived underground. This place had 30,000 people living there!!! The entrance just has a place to buy your ticket, a mosque with miniret and a souvenir and snack shop. Our guide, a friendly local Turk gave a “Salam Al Akoum” (similar to Hebrew Shalom Alechem) greeting to the staff on the gate, an Arabic greeting (peace with you) that’s probably common among all other non Arabic speaking Muslim countries.
This place had a ventilation shaft/well with winch system to bring water and other supplies.
Inside one part of a corridor was a short passageway with a shorter cross section, yes a church, carved out room in a cross! Other parts of the complex were where people were trained in the gospels. These would of been Greek speaking believers.
This door works with a sliding rounded stone, similar to the one thought to be the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem, and like some other tombs of similar design. This can only slid from the inside providing a very secure means of the people in the underground city protecting from hostile attackers.
This is where part of the teaching would of been preached. I’d love to know what the shelf bit with the steps would be for.
You can read more about the underground city of Derinkuyu here http://www.goreme.com/derinkuyu-underground-city.php
This was a really fascinating place to see, and makes me thankful that I can worship in my church without risk of imprisonment or worse. I don’t remember anything about the age of this place or how long it was used as an a dwelling. We only spent an hour in there, and only fraction of it can be actually seen.