Ancient underground structures
Buildings and structures left on the planet since ancient times, for many centuries mind-boggling history buffs. From the Parthenon to the great Pyramid, it seems that there will be no end to the huge amount of information we can get from them. But often what can be observed above the ground pales in comparison to the amazing findings that are discovered under our feet. Whether they were ancient reservoirs, theaters, temples, or disguised strongholds. these monumental subterranean structures serve as a legacy of outstanding inventiveness of the people of the Ancient world.
10. Chavin de huantar. Peru
Pre-Columbian pilgrimage center of Chavin de huantar is approximately 12 thousand square meters. Consisting of artificial terraces and squares, built with Adobe bricks of buildings and the sunken Plaza, its impressive appearance confirms an important ceremonial and cultural importance of this place in the religious sphere of the ancient civilization of the Andes.
However, the essence of a place is its underground tunnels, ventilated mines, stone chambers and galleries. It is here you can see the engraved obelisks and statues in the place of their natural occurrence, and wonder the huge scale of the masonry of this building. In fact, sewage and ventilation network in the core structures is unique among all underground archaeological structures in South America, and Chavin de huantar has no equal.
9. Rope Pharaoh. Jordan
Rope Pharaoh, or Gadara Aqueduct, is an ancient aqueduct that supplied water to the Roman-Hellenistic cities of the Decapolis – in Adraa, Abil and Gadara. Rediscovered only in 2004, this 170-km pipeline is not only the longest underground aqueduct of Antiquity, but also the most difficult.
It was built by the system of the rope — shafts with a vertical height of 20 – 200 metres, on the opposite side associated with the many tunnels. Hundreds of miners took over 120 years to finish the tunnel: during this time, they dug more than 600 thousand cubic meters of limestone, comparable to more than a quarter of the total volume of the great Pyramid of Cheops.
8. Mitreum Baths of Caracalla. Rome, Italy
The “mitreums” were underground centers convert the mysteries of the Roman Mithraic cult, a religious movement, in the center of which was located the Persian God Mithra. During excavations in the baths of Caracalla in 1912, archaeologists discovered the largest found so far of “mitreums”, the size of which was about 230 square meters.
Unfortunately, most of the artwork in the great hall over time had been lost, but preserved several of the carved reliefs and inscriptions. One of its most significant parts – sunguinis fossa – deep hole, which is dedicated to were to go down, so they dubbed the blood of the sacrificed bull.
7. Knight’s hall. Akko, Israel
Knights halls were built by the knights Hospitallers, a monastic order who has devoted himself to the care of the wounded and sick during the First crusade. Cleverly engineered underneath the castle and prison of acre — the port city and the gateway to the Holy land — the complex of halls is part of the Fortress of the Hospitallers.
The construction includes a prison, an ancient Gothic Church, several interconnected rooms and dining room. Although it was destroyed after the defeat of the crusaders in 1187, mainly the invading Muslim armies, it was restored during the Second crusade. Halls consist of three floors, but so far excavated only 5 thousand square meters of this archaeological wonder.
6. Basilica Di San Clemente. Rome, Italy
Outside, the small Basilica dedicated to Pope Clement, who died in 99 ad it may seem insignificant, but upon closer inspection you realize that this is a direct, multi-layered picture of the religious history of Rome. Immediately below the beautifully decorated Basilica of the 12th century, we find the lower or the Lower Church of the Basilica. This 4th century Church, partly built on top of what historians believe was the home of a Roman nobleman.
In addition to this was the site of the papal Conclave in 1099, the Basilica also contains one of the largest collections of early medieval frescoes in Rome. Under the Lower Basilica are the remains of a building destroyed by the great fire in 64 ad and Mitreum, containing several monuments used in the cult of Mithras.
5. The Temple Of Prasanna Virupaksha. Hampi, India
Among the mesmerizing ruins of Hampi, a world heritage site, the Temple, the Prasanna Virupaksha is also known as the Underground Shiva Temple — lay buried for more than 400 years before he was again discovered in the 1980-ies. Intended for use by the Royal court during the private ceremonies, the temple layout and composition similar to the churches located on the Hill Hemakuta, and is characterized by the presence of many carvings, sculptures and frescoes.
The majestic inner sanctum includes an impressive hall with a colonnade and beautifully engraved columns that actually stretch and through the ceiling. The floors of the hall and the inner sanctum — remain underwater, despite the excavations and ongoing attempts to save this place.
4. The Hypogeum Of Hal O Saflieni. The Island Of Malta
The Hypogeum of Hal o Saflieni from about 2500 BC making it the only known prehistoric subterranean structure in the world. Although many believe that it originated as a sanctuary, the Hypogeum served as a cemetery, and in its mysterious grottos were located thousands of human remains. One of its most significant parts – the room of the Oracle — carved hole in the wall that produces an echo that resonates throughout the Hypogeum every time someone says it.
Several smaller rooms on all three levels took the echo and turned its secondary echo in something strongly reminiscent of a heartbeat, forcing many to assume that this hole played a major role in ancient ceremonies. Other features of the Hypogeum is a unique location relative to Ravnodenstvie of the sun, a large stone structure, not unlike that found in Stonehenge and Baalbek, and elaborately painted with ochre spirals ceiling.
3. The Mausoleum Of Qin Shi Huang. XI’an, China
The mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang – the burial place of the first Chinese Emperor of the Qing dynasty, 2.2 thousand years. Known just its partly excavated terracotta army which lies to the North and South towards the mound, and many foreigners do not even realize that the mausoleum is in fact the most ridiculous burial complex of China. It consists of four layers and includes an underground Palace, the Central part of the city, outer city and a wide variety of secondary buildings and tombs.
The subterranean phenomenon, which stretches more than 600 square metres, built over 38 years 700 thousand workers, and in the four decades archaeologists have unearthed just a small part of the building. And even though no one was allowed to dig up the Central living tomb underground Palace, from ancient sources we know that it symbolized the real Imperial Palace, while he was alive, and occupies more than two thirds of the Central part of the city.
2. The Tomb Of SETI I. Abydos, Egypt
The tomb of SETI I is the longest and deepest tomb in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. The first tomb, masterfully embellished and decorated, depicts exquisite reliefs, colorful paintings and intricately carved column depicting SETI I with the goddess Hathor. In fact, every room, corridor and ceiling in the tomb were decorated. Unfortunately, as excavations during the 50-s and 60-ies caused changes in the level of humidity in the tomb, most of the walls cracked or collapsed, and now the tomb is closed to tourists.
1. The Basilica Cistern. Istanbul, Turkey
The name Basilica Cistern could imply that it is not that other, as a cistern, but it is very far from the truth. For 3 and 4 centuries this was the site of the impressive temple, surrounded by magnificent gardens. When it was destroyed by fire, the Emperor Justinian was 7000 slaves, who regained the original structure on the same place all of his 9, 8 thousand square meters. Also known as the “Sunken Palace”, it is a miracle that must be seen.
The arched ceiling is supported by 336 marble columns engraved — each with a height of 9 meters – which you can see down the stairs with stone steps. While the Tank operated, it supplied water to the buildings on the First hill, including the Great Palace of Constantinople, and continues to do so to this day. Today, there were literally a couple meters of water. Basil appeared in several movies, novels and recently in video games.