Mythical underground cities are well part of folklore, but what not everyone realizes is that underground cities not only exist, but have thrived. It is not as if most of them are really old, some of them were made in relatively modern times.
10. Beijing Underground City
This was made in 1969 on the orders of Mao Zedong. It was made for the purpose of military defense during Sino-Soviet Border War. Within the city were stores, restaurants, schools, theaters, barber shops, and even a roller skating rink. The underground city also featured over 1,000 air raid shelters, and it was built to house up to forty percent of the Beijing’s population in the event of attack. Even today, some of the shelters are used as youth hostels.
9. Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain
This city is unique in two ways, 1) It is not exactly underground rather built into stone 2) It still continues to be developed today. The town has served as a Moorish fortification and was used for the same reason by the Roman Empire.
8. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
Since Moose Jaw is located in Canada, its is subjected to long & harsh winters. Not surprisingly, it was just as cold in the early twentieth century, which led to a series of tunnels being constructed beneath the city to allow warm travel for the workers. But soon after, the tunnels were being used for illegal & illicit activities. Where illegal alcohol exists, gambling and prostitution soon follow, and soon enough the underground city was turning into a mini Las Vegas.
7. City of the Gods, Giza Plateau
The sole surviving wonder of the ancient world, The Giza Pyramids in Egypt near Cairo has another mystery beneath it. In 1978, archeologists mapped out a vast network of tunnels linking together to form a complex. The underground city was named The City of Gods. Considering this vast underground city is directly beneath one of the most important historical structures in the world, it is not likely that its mysteries will be easily unlocked in the foreseeable future.
6. Portland, Oregon
Beneath one of the largest cities in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States lie the Shanghai Tunnels. These tunnels were used to transport goods and legend has it, kidnapped people. The phenomena were known as Shanghaiing—kidnapping men for forced labor aboard ships. Today it is more of a tourist attraction.
5. Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland
This salt mine was built in the thirteenth century. The mine was one of the longest-running salt mines in history and it produced salt up till 2007. In addition to producing tons of our favorite food additive, the mine was also home to a massive underground complex that included statues, chapels, and even a cathedral.
4. Coober Pedy, Australia
Similar to Setenil de las Bodegas the town of Coober Pedy still exist today. The town produces more opal than any other in the world. Along with the dugout homes and mine shafts, the town boasts underground shops and pubs, as well as a church, and even a graveyard.
3. Kish, Iran
Beneath Kish, Iran lies a mysterious underground city with no name, it is just referred as Kish underground by tourists. The city is more than 2,500 years old and was initially used as a water management system.
2. Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia is famous for its underground sites. The most famous is Derinkuyu, it consisted of many underground tunnels and is said to have housed residents in the thousands. This was not a small city and neither was it a series of small cave homes either. Throughout Derinkuyu were shops and churches, areas in which the residents produced wine. There were also many schools for children.
1. Burlington—Secret English City
Everyone knows about Cheyenne Mountain, the not so secret underground government facility in the US. But seldom know about a similar facility made by the British. This site was supposed to house the British government in case of a nuclear war. Built in 1950’s it was kept in working condition up till 1991. Burlington was built in an old stone quarry and covered 240 acres (1 sqr km), and it could accommodate up to 4,000 government officials. What it could not accommodate, however, was their families. It even had a BBC studio through which the PM can address whatever that remains of the population