This Is the Impressive and Mysterious Underwater City Over 700 Years Old in China

This Is the Impressive and Mysterious Underwater City Over 700 Years Old in China

You've probably heard of the Lost City of Atlantis, but did you know China also has its own ancient underwater city?

Despite being completely submerged underwater, the architecture of this ancient Chinese metropolis remains remarkably intact and can be visited today. 

Shicheng, a 700 year old city in China has become a time capsule that has survived through the centuries. It was "rediscovered" in 2001 during a government expedition to Qiandao Lake. The city was found to be surprisingly well-preserved, despite being underwater for a number of years. 

The city of Shicheng, also known as the "Lion City", is in Zhejiang province, 400km south of Shanghai. Historical analysis has revealed that the city dates back to the Ming and Qing dynasties (from 1368 to 1912).

Unlike the mythical island city of Atlantis, which was supposedly destroyed after their pride angered the gods, Shicheng was intentionally submerged in 1959. It was flooded as part of the construction of the Xin'an Dam, that powered a hydroelectric plant. This required the Chinese government to relocate 300,000 people and resulted in a significant cultural loss as families who had lived in the city for generations were displaced. 

In 2001, the city was "rediscovered" after Chinese official Qiu Feng led a team to explore Qiandao Lake's depths, finding the remains of the city remarkably intact. Beams, stairs, murals, stone and wooden roofs, and even five gates with their respective towers were found preserved as if still on the surface. "We were lucky. As soon as we dove into the lake, we found the outer wall of the village and even picked up a brick to prove it," said Feng.

Following its rediscovery, Shicheng has become a tourist attraction. Visitors interested in architecture, mystery, and history can explore the site with Big Blue, a Shanghai-based diving operator offering trips twice a month. Visitors to the submerged city have described it as a truly surreal site, like being on the set of a science fiction movie. Qiandao Lake, covering 573 square kilometers and home to 1,078 islands, adds to the allure of this underwater wonder.