Once underground destinations
When we think we’ve seen (and found) all on our planet, it still remains what lies beneath the earth’s surface. Underground natural wonders and impressive creations of man, from prehistoric caves that were their first homes to entire cities, carved into the rock, hospitals or shelters for difficult times churches.
Some big cities hide under their foundations parallel cities that are more interesting than we see on the surface. Most of these amazing underground treasures have become tourist sites to be visited. Yes, claustrophobic refrain.
01. Underground City of Derinkuyu: TURKEY
This labyrinth of tunnels with several superimposed levels, as if he were a skyscraper built by digging into the earth, is one of the most impressive visits that can be done in a lifetime experience. Much more impressive when you have arrived here to live up to 10,000 people, as industrious ants. Built by the hand of man, Derinkuyu, 10 km south of Kaymakli, is the most spectacular of the 37 underground settlements that exist in the region.
It is believed that these hidden cities began to be pierced by the Hittites, but over the centuries VI and VII the Byzantine Christians enlarged and extended to escape the persecution of Arab or Persian armies. The vents were camouflaged as well and nobody could guess that underground lived, worked, ate and loved thousands. Some experts claim that the first level may be the year 1400 before Christ. Anyway, the city we know today are between 18 and 20 underground floors, with huge overlapping rooms on seven levels through a labyrinthine system of tunnels. Since 1963 you can visit. There is everything that is needed in a city: stores, warehouses, tanks, presses for wine and oil, stables, kitchens, dining rooms, school and even a cruciform chapel 180 square meters and a height of three meters, located in the seventh level. When everything is down, you can look up the vent to check its depth.
02. Minas de sal de Wieliczka: POLAND
About 14 kilometers from Krakow, the Wieliczka salt mines are considered the world’s oldest operating: take being exploited since the thirteenth century. This is a disturbing world of wells and chambers entirely hand sculpted salt and preservatives and famous for the healing properties of its microclimate. They have a depth of 327 meters and its length exceeds 300 kilometers, some are known as the underground salt cathedral in Poland.
The tour is about three kilometers and a half where you can see statues carved in rock salt, chambers, chapels, an underground lake and all lit with a salt crystal chandeliers that give appearance of the palace. The jewel of the place is the chapel of St. Kinga, a true church of salt, including altarpieces. At the exit, a museum explains to visitors why this unique tourist attraction that everyone who visits Krakow included in its route.
03. The Seattle Underground: U.S
Seattle, north of the US Pacific coast, is the city where was born the grunge of Nirvana and Jimmie Hendrix and also boasts excellent coffee. As in all big cities of the United States, the main attraction are its museums, but here we also find a very special visit: the underground city under the Pioneer Square . It is not simple abandoned subway stations, but a network of streets and houses of the nineteenth century Seattle, now hidden underground. It dates back to the great fire that occurred in the city in 1889 and destroyed it completely. After it was decided to build a new brick and stone city, raising the ground and the ground floor of the houses to prevent flooding, hitherto one of the most common problems in the city. Consequently, part of the city was buried under tons of cement and today is visited by way of underground journey through time.
Amazing stories know that very savvy guides explain: since the invention of the toilet with chain-the primitive city was at sea level and waste disposal forced its inhabitants to sharpen the ingenious, even a story of alleged seamstresses, actually they hid a prostitution or tunnels that were used for clandestine meetings during the years of ban. Perfect for a rainy day entertainment.
04. Coober Pedy : AUSTRALIA
People living in villages that reach 50 degrees in summer, such as the inside of Australia, looking how to escape the heat as. It is what happens in Coober Pedy, a town of 3,000 inhabitants where temperatures pushed the population to dig literally their homes. The town’s name means “hole in the floor of the white man” in the local Aboriginal dialect and is a truly inhospitable place where one wonders why someone decides to settle there. The reason is opals: since 1915, the wealth of the area in these gems has attracted seekers, many of which have been excavated houses, bars and even churches on the slopes in search of fresh shelters.
Faye House is the prettiest town. It is not a museum but a house that shows how ordinary people thrive in a fiery land in the middle of nowhere. Coober Pedy is about 846 kilometers north of Adelaide and 685 south of Alice Springs; There are six weekly flights between Adelaide and Coober Pedy.
05 A secret hospital under Budapest: HUNGARY
One of the rooms of the Hospital in the Rock, in Budapest, dug into the rock during World War II.
The basement of the Hungarian capital and its surroundings hide many surprises. One of the most impressive is a rock-cut hospital (now a museum, the Hospital in the Rock) below the hills of Buda. It was built during World War II leveraging the cave system that existed under the hillside houses and functioned as it was a safe haven for the wounded during the conflict. Then, during the revolution of 56, he returned to become hospital and shelter … and then officially closed.
A few years ago it was discovered that actually continued to function for decades as secret fallout shelter during the Cold War, yet willing to serve the population in case of nuclear attack. There are still to prove the armored doors, the thousands of anti gas masks and many other elements of urgency prepared to serve the entire population in an alleged atomic conflict.
One hundred wax figures (doctors, wounded, nurses, soldiers) are used today for visitors to get an idea of how people lived there during World War II (there are offices, rooms for the sick and even operating rooms). The last part of the tour lets us see the bunker of the Cold War and in the souvenir shop can even buy some gas masks and first aid packages originals stored Hungarians.
If we take pleasure to be underground, we can caving in one of the 160 caves that burrow underground Buddha. The most visited (can be reached by bus from the center) is the PAL-völgy , one of the largest in the world-with 19 kilometers long. Famous for its stalactites and bats, with two circuits: one simple for all ages and adventure route three hours not suitable for claustrophobic.
06. Puerto Princesa Underground River: PHILIPPINES
Puerto Princesa is the capital of Palawan, a province of the island maze that is the Philippines. Since 1999 it has also become one of the tourist attractions of the country thanks to the World Heritage declaration of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park an underground river section 8 kilometers long. The formations are the caves (and the screams of the bats) meet the expectations of all visitors, though only allow circuits to be 30 minutes underground. A whole represents a significant habitat for biodiversity, where the forest and beach ecosystems are mixed, forming a spectacular landscape.
To fully appreciate the area must approach the beaches, there are cliffs and forests around the town of Sabang. Puerto Princesa City is considered one of the most clean and green of the Philippines and is famous for its crocodile farms, but especially for its underground rivers.
07 Cu Chi Tunnels: VIETNAM
Today they are one of the major tourist attractions in southern Vietnam but still impressive when you show what you really meant for the history of the Vietnamese. Built during the Vietnam War by North Vietnamese troops, consisting of an extensive underground network that served mainly as a hideout for guerrillas of the communist army. They were also used as hospital, store weapons and food, and even as accommodation. A world underground which was reached through tiny holes hidden in the ground. Quite a challenge for a Western visitor (especially if overweight).
Tunnels 40 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh extend, the former Saigon.
08 Underground City, Montreal: CANADA
The cities that have to cope with long, harsh winters have sought solutions for life can develop normally although temperatures plummet to 20 or 30 degrees below zero. Montreal is, for example, has a real underground city, Underground City, where there is everything: offices, shopping malls, hotels, cinemas, railway and bus stations, banks, universities, museums, and even a hockey rink ice.
The first shopping center of the city, the Place Ville Marie, was built under a skyscraper in 1962. Then, in 1966, was built the subway system and from that moment began to build more and more shopping centers, cafes, offices, etc., all interconnected and metro stations. Currently, by this parallel city of about thirty kilometers long and more than four million square meters under the ground running every day almost five hundred thousand people. Even it is organized in the month of February, while the winter rages out there, a career that spans five kilometers underground but in this warm world.
Most of the underground city is open to the public during the hours of operation of the Montreal metro, between 5.30 and 1 am.
09 Within a Roman cistern: ISTANBUL
Istanbul Basilica Cistern is a real palace submerged and is the largest of the 60 tanks beneath the ancient Constantinople. It is an amazing place, especially if we consider that was built in the year 532, during the reign of Emperor Justinian, as water reservoir of the Grand Palace. After the conquest, the water was used to irrigate the gardens of Topkapi Palace. Today the water is kept at a low level so that they can observe the stunning Medusa heads at the base that two of its 336 columns nine meters; a forest of marble underground.
What really boggles the symmetry and majesty of space that has become the scene of blockbusters like the classic From Russia with Love (Terence Young, 1963), the James Bond saga. The tank is perfect for a truce to be cool in the hot summer days in Istanbul, especially in the afternoon, when it is stifling.
10 Carlsbad Caverns: NEW MEXICO (USA)
More than 80 caves, including one of the longest in the world, Lechuguilla form a real underground country in the Sierra de Guadalupe, New Mexico. There are several ways to explore the cave system of Carlsbad, from a self-guided descent of 230 meters starting in the Great Hall (the great hall) until exhausting windings and narrows the Hall of the White Giant. In the path of the Kings Palace is further falls for tubular stalactites Spider lamp style known as soda straws.
You reach the cave through a main entrance or a lift that serves your departure time.
11 Dixia Cheng: CHINA
The Chinese government is planning to build an underground city under Beijing to face the unstoppable growth of the Chinese capital, which currently has over 16 million inhabitants. It would be a complex of 90 million square meters in which they could live millions. To advance work, it would take advantage of the vast network of underground tunnels preserved city.
Dixia Cheng (62 Xidamo Changiie, subway Chongwenmen) is one of the most curious underground cities in the world, carved by hand by the people of Beijing-including soldiers, civilians and children in school age between 1969 and 1970. An immense network of galleries and anti-aircraft structures built by Mao Zedong order to protect the population of a possible attack on the city. This huge indoor city (its name means just that, the city underground ) is made up of tunnels and tunnels where they could live about six million (that Beijing had when it was pierced). In water purification, food stores, farms, shops, restaurants, hospitals, schools and even a silk factory were created. All it conceived as a large bunker with concrete doors to withstand disasters and, of course, to resist chemical or nuclear attacks. The shelter was planning to hold for four months at 40% of the population then.
The city is accessed by a hidden entrance in shops and homes of important people of Beijing and tunnels connecting the main areas of the capital (in area), as Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, all buried at a depth of between 8 and 18 meters. There is even a gallery that reaches Tianjin Industrial 150 kilometers south of the capital, without seeing the sunshine city.
Today Dixia Cheng is a labyrinth of thousands of hallways that were never used, but tourists can just barely stretch explore means of these tunnels kilómetro- Mao, the rest is controlled by the Chinese government.