drb
logo
airplanes | animals | architecture | art | auto | boats | famous | cool ads | funny pics | food | futurism | gadgets | history | japan
military | music | nature | photo | russia | sci-fi | signs | space | sports | steampunk | technology | trains | travel | vintage | weird


Underground Cities and Bunkers: Living Down Below


"QUANTUM SHOT" #565
Link - article by M. Christian and Avi Abrams



Deep Calls to Deep...

Ever since Tolkien's Mines of Moria, and perhaps the haunting, grandiose structures of Gormenghast, the vast underground spaces has intrigued and thrilled readers, movie-goers and urban explorers (see our article Abandoned Tunnels and Vast Underground Spaces)

This time we'll highlight a few subterranean (or built into a mountain) cities and huge bunkers - but we have a feeling that our feeble spotlight of information is not going to sweep away the murky mysteries surrounding these sites. There is a vast expanse of tunnels to explore, and you never know what may greet you at the next turn...


Vault in Pyatigorsk, Caucasus, image credit: Dana

Why people would want to live down below is not a surprise to anyone. After all, when Mr. and Mrs. Neanderthal tut-tutted about the sorry state of the neighborhood, what with all those Homo Sapiens moving in and all, they did it around a nice warm fire – in a cave. What is surprising is that even though early man lived in caves for a very, very long times we’ve pretty much abandoned having granite floors and ceilings, homes hewn – or simply found – inside stern mountains...

In, under, or around the mountain - the city must be built!

One town that bridges below ground and above ground is the charming Spanish city of Setenil De Las Bodegas in Andalucia. While a lot of the elegant town is above ground, many of it is also tucked in a wandering network of caves under its sheltering cliffs. Because Setenil De Las Bodegas has been a living city for centuries it also lacks the dust and decay that sometimes haunts a lot of ancient underground settlements.



Here is an aerial video of Setenil De Las Bodegas, showing its incredible location. Also see more images and info.



(image credit: José Luis Sánchez Mesa)

Check out the balcony on the upper left (in the image below) - it does not have much of a view, does it? -


(image credit: Juan Antonio Patiño Méndez)


Elegant Cappadocia

If you want to talk about an almost mystical kingdom that lived as much under the ground as on it then you have to talk about the Cappadocians. So in tune were these ancient Turks (who were there long before there was a Turkey, actually) with the earth that they carved entire towns and cities into natural outcroppings. What's more, they did it elegantly, in a flowing... well, natural fashion. Sure, time has ruined a lot of their work, but still today you can see hints of their craftsmanship and geological architectural skill in the cities and tunnels that survive.


Goreme Valley, Cappadocia, photos by Derrick Pereira

More images and a travelogue here

What’s also fascinating about underground cities is how they can hide, right under out feet, for centuries. Another Turkish underground city was discovered in 1972 when a local farmer noticed his water supply was going somewhere it shouldn’t – that somewhere turning out to be a massive underground city, called Özkonak, that – at it’s height – could have been home to (wait for it) over 60,000 people. Yes, you may whistle.


(image credit: Tatjana)


"Industrial Honeycombing"

There’s not enough space here to go into every ancient underground city – mainly because, like with Özkonak, some of them have no doubt yet to be found – especially if we decide to be generous and stretch the definition of what a city might be. After all, sometimes underground chambers and tunnels never planned to be cities have become makeshift ones, like with the catacombs of Paris and the Resistance during the Second World War.

Here is one of Cold War "underground cities" - a nuclear bunker in Burlington. Appropriately-named "City of Ember" exploration website has a haunting account of penetrating this secret subterranean city, and BBC has an interesting article about it.


(images copyright: Dan Brown)

"The bunker featured an exact replica of the telephone exchange of it's time. The entire nations phone lines could have run through this system." -


(image copyright: Dan Brown)

Australia's "Down Under" name is definitely justified: lots of caves there, but also man-made underground spaces... The Cave Clan, which logo looks like Coca-Cola (check it out) finds weird catacombs, that may scare an occasional tourist and attract droves of urban explorers... There are lots of creepy tunnels and chambers, some with very appropriate names -

"Abandon All Hope" Tunnel, Tasmania, for example:


(image credit: Azenis)

It gets even fuzzier if you include man-made underground structures and not just cities carved by hand into stone. If you use that definition the world is honeycombed by modern underground cities, especially in congested cities like Tokyo, Singapore, London, and New York.

Speaking about New York, National Geographic site has a neat chart of underground infrastructure (make sure to click through to the to-scale version)


Wieliczka Salt Mine

Putting aside the questions of what is or isn’t a real underground city there’s one that has to be mentioned. Yes, it’s ancient, but it was also a living subterranean community up until very recently.

What’s also odd about it was that it was carved not from stone but from salt. Started sometime in the 13th century (again, you can whistle), the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland has been in almost continuous operation until 2007. Stretching over 300 kilometers long, it goes as deep as 327 meters. Okay, that’s impressive, but what’s really staggering is that the mine was home to generations of workers and their families, who transformed their simple mine into a cathedral of brilliant and awe-inspiring art.


(images via)

Seems like these mines also had a rich and turbulent history, as witnessed by these paintings:


(images via)

Purely a labor of love, the miners carved the salt into statues, a chandelier, and even into a chapel. But that’s not all: the mine also features a movie theater, an underground lake, a café … all the amenities of life on the surface but rather deep in the living earth.


Chapel deep underground, photo by Cédric Puisney

Abandoned Limestone Quarries, located in Maastricht, Netherlands, also display "works of art" and signs of habitation. They are being explored by Marco Cauberg and his team:




As with narrow houses we talked about before, as the population rises and living space shrinks, its looking more and more likely that many people will be living as their great, great, great ancestors did: below the ground – though at least this time when we complain about the neighbors it’ll be by the light of something much more sophisticated than a roaring fire.

CONTINUE TO "ABANDONED TUNNELS and VAST UNDERGROUND SPACES"! ->

READ MORE FROM "ABANDONED" SERIES! ->

Permanent Link......+StumbleUpon ...+Facebook



RECENT ARTICLES:


"Pale Memory" Traumatic Explosion

Stunning Photo-Realistic (and Wildly Surreal) Paintings by Jeremy Geddes

DRB Feel-Good
DRB Feel-Good Issue #22

Loads of cool and rare imagery


Creative (and Weird) Basketball Hoops

Exercise Anywhere! Make your hoop out of anything!



"Dark Roasted Blend" - All Kinds of Weird and Wonderful Things, Discovered Daily!"

DRB is a top-ranked and respected source for the best in art, travel and fascinating technology, with a highly visual presentation. Our in-depth articles in many categories make DRB a highly visual online magazine, bringing you quality entertainment every time you open your "feed" reader or visit our site - About DRB

Connect with us and become part of DRB on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus; make sure to subscribe to our updates.

Our mobile site: http://mobile.darkroastedblend.com. You can also read us on iPad, as part of the Flipboard popular free app.



YOUR COMMENTS::

5 Comments:

Blogger markb120 said...

Some more for your collection:

In Guilin, China.

Somewhere in Vietnam.

___  
Anonymous Television Voyeur said...

Imagine living in one of those bunkers.

___  
Anonymous casper said...

And another one, slept in the hotel years ago

http://www.tunisia.com/tunisia/travel/tunisia-travel-guides/southern-tunisia/matmata

___  
Anonymous Vlad said...

Inside looks pretty chill..why we don't have such here..

___  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Nuclear Bunker you mention *is* "Burlington", it's not in Burlington. It's under (more or less) the town of Corsham in Wiltshire. It's had a few codenames, including "Burlington", "Turnstile" and "Box".

___  

Post a Comment

<< Home


SF ART & BOOK REVIEWS:
Don't miss: The Ultimate Guide to NEW SF&F Writers!
Fiction Reviews: Classic Cyberpunk: Extreme Fiction
Short Fiction Reviews: Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" (with pics)
New Fiction Reviews: The Surreal Office



READ OTHER RECENT ARTICLES:


Quantum Shot #881
Fascinating Maps:
Origins of Important Historical Figures in Europe


Europe Seen Through a Temporal Telescope: 1400-1950

DRB Pic-of-the-Day
Pic-of-the-Day: Feather Sea Star

"Flowers of the Coral Seas"

DRB Feel-Good
DRB Feel-Good Issue #20

Loads of cool and rare imagery


Futuristic "Sofil" 1953 Vehicle

Marvelous bus designed by Felix Aublet


More Lovely Micro Cars

Small is Timeless!


DRB Pic-of-the-Day: Thunder Robot Army

Plus a bunch of Freddie-Ford auto robots


Adorable Bubble-Cars

Great Things Come in Small Packages


These Glorious Three-Wheeled Microcars

Jellybean Three-Wheelers! (Who Needs an Extra Wheel?)


Japan Robot Restaurant: Totally Over-the-Top!

Probably the craziest restaurant in the entire world


Nightmare Playgrounds, Part 2
Nightmare Playgrounds, Part 1

Seriously disturbing sculptures, meant for kids


Nightmare Playgrounds, Part 3

When trapped in a nightmare, enjoy a kiddie-slide!


Cars with Propellers, Part 2

Futuristic "Pillbug", built in 1936 in Germany


DRB Pic-of-the-Day: Shire on Earth

Found! The secret hideout of hobbits


Cars with Propellers, Part 1

Essential steampunk transportation


FULL ARCHIVES (with previews, fast loading):

July-Aug 2014 -- June 2014 --
May 2014 -- April 2014 -- Feb-March 2014 -- January 2014 -- Oct-Dec 2013 --
September 2013 -- August 2013 -- July 2013 -- May-June 2013 -- April 2013 --
March 2013 -- February 2013 -- Dec-Jan 2013 --
November 2012 -- October 2012 -- September 2012 --
August 2012 -- July 2012 -- June 2012 -- May 2012 -- April 2012 --
March 2012 -- February 2012 -- Dec-Jan 2012 --
November 2011 -- October 2011 -- September 2011 --
August 2011 -- July 2011 -- June 2011 --
May 2011 -- April 2011 -- March 2011 --
February 2011 -- January 2011 -- December 2010 --
November 2010 -- October 2010 -- September 2010 --
August 2010 - July 2010 -- June 2010 --
May 2010 -- April 2010 -- March 2010 --
Winter 2009-2010 -- Oct-Nov 2009 -- September 2009 --
August 2009 -- June-July 2009 -- May 2009 --
April 2009 -- March 2009 -- February 2009 --
January 2009 -- December 2008 -- November 2008 --
October 2008 -- September 2008 -- August 2008 --
July 2008 -- June 2008 -- May 2008 --
April 2008 -- March 2008 -- February 2008 --
January 2008 -- Dec, 2007 -- November 2007 --
October 2007 -- September 2007 -- August 2007 --
July 2007 -- June 2007 -- May 2007 --
April 2007 -- March 2007 -- February 2007 --
January 2007 -- December 2006 -- November 2006 --
October 2006 -- Link Latte Issues -- Biscotti Issues



CATEGORIES:
airplanes | animals | architecture | art | auto | boats | books | cool ads | funny pics | famous | futurism | food
gadgets | health | history | humour | japan | internet | link latte | military | music | nature | photo | russia | steampunk
sci-fi & fantasy | signs | space | sports | technology | trains | travel | vintage | weird




















Airplanes
Animals
Architecture
Art
Auto
Boats
Computers
Cool Ads
Extreme Weather
Food
Funny Pics
Futurism
Gadgets
History
Humour
Link Latte
Military
Music
Nature
Oops Accidents
Photography
Robots
Science
Science Fiction

Space
Sports
Technology
Trains
Travel
UE Abandoned
Vintage
Weird











Avi Abrams
Rachel Abrams
M. Christian
Simon Rose
Paul Schilperoord
Scott Seegert
Constantine vonHoffman


Send us your topic ideas, site suggestions, rants or sweet unpublished poetry. We love to hear from you.

Samsung Galaxy Case friendly.