Mersin has large sinkholes due to its soil structure and one of these sinkholes is the Kanlıdivane sinkhole. Rainwater that cannot find a way on the surface meets the sea by opening sinkhole-type holes under the ground. The geography, which already has a calcareous land structure, can easily open holes for itself over time and create large caves underground.
As time passes, the surface on the expanding underground roads cannot withstand more and collapses occur on this surface. These depressions are a natural formation frequently encountered in the Cilicia Region. The sinkhole in Kanlıdivane was also formed in this way and formed a sinkhole with 142×95 meters in size and a depth of nearly 50 meters.
When you visit Kanlıdivane, you encounter not only a sinkhole but also an ancient city built around the sinkhole. Let’s give a brief information about this ancient city. The name of the ancient city was mentioned as Canytellis or Kanytelleis in historical sources. The legend that criminals were thrown into this sinkhole during the Roman period and fed to animals made the region known as Kanlıdivane. According to another rumor, it was produced from the walls of the sinkhole, which was painted as a result of the integration of the rainwater with the red colored soil.
It is thought that life existed in this ancient city from the 3rd century BC to the 11th century AD. The ancient city, where findings from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods were found, along with the archaeological excavations, the discovery of production tools such as press weight stones, crushing boats, press beds shows that the city was an important olive oil center towards the end of its life.
There are not many buildings left standing in the ancient city, but there are some ruins that have survived to the present day. One of them is the Byzantine church from the time of Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II, who turned the city into a good Christian center and renamed it Neopolis.
It is possible to see many necropolis areas around the ancient city. Çanakçı Rock Tombs 450 meters west of the cenotaph, which is a cemetery from the Roman period, the monumental tomb with three columns near the cenotaph and the tomb of Aba and his family 250 meters northwest of the cenotaph are worth seeing.
What are Kanlıdivane entrance fee and visiting hours?
It is possible to see many Muslim cemeteries around the ancient city, which was used as a wintering ground by Turkmen tribes after Byzantium. Until it was declared as a SIT area today, village life preserved its existence here. If you have a Müzekart, you can enter this historical site, also called Kanlıdivane Ruins, for free. Visitable between 08:00 – 19:00, Kanlıdivane Ruins is a very different visual experience.
Where is Kanlıdivane and how to get there?
Kanlıdivane is located in Erdemli district of Mersin. Located 60km west of Mersin, the ruins are 3km north of Yemişkumu neighborhood. Kanlıdivane can also be used as a concert area where concerts are held in various periods.
If you want to see another depression like Kanlıdivane during your visit to Mersin, you can visit Cennet Cehennem Caves. Especially the Cennet Caves are bigger and you can enter and visit them. Kanlıdivane is one of the interesting natural formations worth seeing in Mersin and is located 50 km from Mersin. It is also within 3 km of the Erdemli – Silifke highway. You can easily find this city, which is close to the sea, through the signs.