Top 10 Cities Right Under Your Feet
Man has always strived to reach for the heavens. We have skyscrapers and structures that seem to go higher and higher each year. We’ve even set out to explore the far reaches of outer space. However, there are times when civilisations have been known to build downwards within the earth instead. When that happens, wonderful cities are left behind, but not many know about them. Here are a few interesting cities you didn’t know were right under your feet!
10. Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain
One of the few of the underground cities on this list that still thrives to this day is Setenil de las Bodegas. A partly underground city in Spain, the name derives from the Latin word “setenil” which means “seven from nothing” referring to the seven attacks it took for the Christians to defeat the Moors. The houses are built right in the stone walls carved out from the mountain. Part of it is out in the open, and when you visit it you can’t help but wonder at the magnificent structure.
9. Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan, Canada is known for having severely long winters. Back in the day it was the same, and so a network of tunnels and living areas were built underground to help facilitate warmer travel. Soon enough the tunnels were said to have aided illegal activities. One of the most notable rumours is that Al Capone made use of this to traffic contraband and engage in other illicit activities through these tunnels. It was nicknamed “The Chicago Connection” because of this.
One of the more famous underground cities, Derinkuyu is in a part of Cappadocia in Turkey. Made up of seven different levels that are entirely underground, Derinkuyu has the capacity to house hundreds of residents. If you’re thinking several small underground caves, think again. Derinkuyu holds churches, schools, and numerous shops that operated for quite some time. They were created supposedly for Christians who were being persecuted back in the day. After all, it’s tough for those lions to navigate through such an intricate city underground!
7. City of the Gods, Giza Plateau
Ah, the pyramids. One of the few wonders of the ancient world that are still standing. Not only are these babies revered for their magnificent architecture, many people think that the Giza Plateau houses an intricate series of chambers and tunnels. For about 40 years now, archaeologists and researches have attempted to map out the metropolis beneath the Giza Plateau. Dubbing it “The City of the Gods” nobody knows how or why the Egyptians even attempted this. We don’t even know exactly how the pyramids were built, what more this potential subterranean city?
6. Wieliczka Salt Mine
You might be surprised to learn that Poland has an amazing underground city as well. Beginning as a salt mine in the 13th century, the mine was operational until 7 years ago in 2007. It ran for about 700 years, can you imagine the sheer amount of salt it produced? That’s enough to give the current population of the world kidney stones! The underground complex houses an underground lake and even has a cathedral that stands to this day. The mine was also the site for munitions during World War 2. What an incredibly durable underground city!
5. Coober Pedy, Australia
Though it’s name sounds a bit silly, Coober Pedy is another amazing subterranean structure. It still houses almost 2,000 residents today, and produces more opal than most other areas. Each home in Coober Pedy, Australia is called a dugout. These aren’t the kind you see in a baseball stadium, however. The town itself was made to protect people from the immense surface heat and various wildlife that prowled above them. This is a real town, with shops, churches, and even a cemetery! Next time you’re in Australia, try and ask about the underground town that’s the crown of opal production.
Burlington is the British counterpart to the United State’s Cheyenne Mountain (which we will get to later). Not many people know that this facility was built around 60 years ago to store the British government in case the world ever went to nuclear war. Built out of an old stone quarry, somewhere around 4,000 people could live in it. Burlington also had an underground lake, and even housed a railway station, water treatment facility, and a few hospitals. When the Cold War ended, in 1991 Burlington supposedly stopped being maintained. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s cool or creepy that the British government has somewhere to flee to should the world go belly up!
3. Kish Underground
This next city is so mysterious that nobody even knows its name. Simply called “the Kish Underground City” it is located beneath Kish, Iran. Supposedly over 2,500 years old, the area was supposed to be for water management. While much of the ancient underground city itself has been renovated, modernized, and adapted to churn in money from tourist visits, the area remains no less massive. Currently projected to house a 10,000 square meter complex, restaurants and various boutiques will now be part of this ancient city.
2. Beijing Underground
If Iran has an underground city and Britain has a place for its officials to regroup, Beijing has one as well! The Beijing Underground began construction in 1969. It was meant to be an emergency shelter for the state leaders, much like Burlington was to the United Kingdom. Spanning about 30km, the city was built mostly for defines purposes. It housed numerous structures even including a skating rink! There were a thousand air raid shelters and could accommodate almost half of the population of Beijing, unlike Burlington. There have even been rumours that trapdoors were built into the citizens homes to allow swift retreat into the subterranean city. Currently, some of the raid shelters are being used as hostels. If you fancy a trip to China, check out this magnificent city.
Those familiar with NORAD or the North American Aerospace Defence Comand, know that it’s the joint command between America and Canada to control and warn against threats in its atmospheric area. Cheyenne Mountain was once the command base of NORAD, though it has long since been moved. Cheyenne Mountain still exists, however, and is meant to defend against nuclear attack, while simultaneously housing thousands of people. NORAD was moved because advances in weapons technology has no longer made it completely safe against nuclear weapons. There are those who still live in Cheyenne Mountain, though there have been talks to convert it to a museum.