Beijing Underground

Beginning in 1969 and continuing through the next decade, Mao Zedong ordered the construction of an emergency shelter for the socialist government. It was located beneath Beijing—stretching 30 kilometers. The giant city was built during the Sino-Soviet border war for the main purpose of military defense.

Within the city were stores, restaurants, schools, theaters, barbershops, and even a roller skating rink. The underground city also featured over 1,000 air raid shelters, and it was built to house up to forty percent of the Beijing’s population in the event of an attack.

Amazingly, there are rumors that every home had a secret trapdoor to allow the citizens to quickly retreat to the great underground complex. In 2000, the giant city was officially opened up as a sort of tourist attraction, and some of the shelters are actually used as youth hostels.   

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