Chongqing's underground world

China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-25 09:41
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Chongqing residents read in a cave that has been turned into a library on Nov 9, 2023. [Photo by Liu Song/For China Daily]

Revitalized air-raid shelters become new landmarks and tourist attractions

Nestled in mountains, the city of Chongqing has a unique urban landscape with a skyline of layer upon layer of buildings on steep hillsides.

The city's uniqueness is not limited to its towering skyscrapers, steep cliffs and the convergence of two rivers. Below the surface, Chongqing's underground world reveals an equally astonishing dimension.

Within the "belly" of this mountain city, there are over 1,600 air-raid shelters built during wartime, covering a total of 1.1 million square meters and constituting a magnificent underground world.

During times of war, air-raid shelters served as a haven for the people of Chongqing. Over time, the caves in the mountains have not faded away but have become an integral part of the city, representing an inseparable memory and historical symbol for the city's people.

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