Have you ever had the chance to visit an underground city? I read about China’s Dixia Cheng a while back. China, in general, is known for being secretive when it comes to war-planning. Back in the 1920s, a complex network of tunnels was constructed to protect and shelter the people of Beijing from nuclear war. The said structure is known as Dixia Cheng or Beijing’s Underground City.
The underground city of Beijing was constructed during conflicts amid the armies of China and Russia. The city itself was engineered by army officials and had all sorts of required essentials. Thousands of citizens dug the complex by hand throughout the 1970s so it could serve as a shelter during invasions, air raids, or nuclear attacks.
I have accumulated ten intriguing facts regarding the underground city of Beijing. Let’s have a look at them, shall we?
1) The Underground Great Wall:
The city is also known as the ‘Underground Great Wall’ mainly because it’s quite massive and can house the entire population of Beijing.
2) Over 90 secret entrances were constructed by the officials:
There are over 90 secret entrances that can take you to the underground city of Beijing. As stated above, the aforementioned entrances were carefully engineered by Chinese officials. The entrances are hidden at the back of homes and businesses.
3) Classrooms and other engaging activities:
Multiple classrooms were built for the children so they could continue their education while living underground. Moreover, they constructed an underground theatre, barbershops, eateries, and a roller-skating arena. Some chambers in secondary tunnels held grain, weapons, and other essential supplies.
4) Multiple slogans can still be seen on the walls of the tunnels:
Slogans such as “Dig deep, store grain, don’t claim to be an emperor”, “Dig the Tunnels Deep” and “Prepare for War, Prepare for Famine” were used by local citizens throughout the construction process. The slogans can be found written on the walls of the tunnels.
5) Eatables for the victims of war:
The authorities stored all kinds of vegetables, fruits and eatables inside various chambers of the city. The main purpose was to facilitate the victims in times of need.
6) Hospitals were constructed for the injured:
A specific portion of the city was reserved for injured individuals. Thousands of beds and medical supplies were stored inside the chambers so people could utilise them during the war.
7) Inaugurated for the tourists in 2000:
This particular shelter was never used, and its existence disappeared until certain portions of the tunnels were opened for tourists in 2000.
8) The city of Dixia Cheng is quite massive:
The underground city covers an area of 85 square kilometres. However, it was ignored by the local inhabitants of Beijing as the time flew by.
9) Connected to the city’s major buildings:
Dixia Cheng means ‘dungeons’ in the Chinese language. It is believed that all the tunnels are interlinked and are somehow connected to the city’s major government buildings.
10) The tunnels of Dixia Cheng are well-equipped:
The tunnels consist of over 10,000 atomic bunkers and everything else a community might require to endure and survive a nuclear war.
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