PHOTOS: China's own Atlantis, an Ancient City Preserved Beneath a Man-Made Lake

By Sushmita Dhekne, August 19, 2014

2 0

China has turned a flooding event into a profit-making spot as it recently opened the underwater city of Shicheng to tourists.

Shicheng, or Lion City, is hidden away in the serene waters of the Qiandao Lake between the Five Lion Mountains. The city was formerly a hub of political and economic activity in Zhejiang province, but in 1959, the city was deliberately flooded by the government in order to build a hydroelectric power station. About the size of 62 football fields, the city was home to over 5,000 residents and is now located between 85 and 131 feet under the man-made lake.

Fast forward 55 years and the mostly forgotten Atlantis is now becoming a popular tourist attraction. 

The Chinese National Geographic released images taken by archaeologists and divers exploring the submerged city.



Tian Dongmen, 75, a former resident of the Lion City, was invited by CCTV to the Qiandao Lake for the exploration. 

While enthusiastically showing his sketches and poems of the city, he said:

Some of the children scorned us adults because they were forced to move from their homes and the place they had known all their lives. But we didn't take it to heart. We were doing our duty for our country, and that was important to us.

Tian had been relocated to Fuzhou when the government ordered them to vacate the city.



A diving team was dispatched to explore the secluded city before tours could be planned. According to the divers, the city is "immaculately preserved," and even brought back a brick to prove it. Qiu Feng, a local tourist official, said that almost every structure, including the wooden beans and stairs, have remained unscathed. 

This "time capsule" is an underwater paradise for divers and has been suggested as a destination for diving clubs. 

more news

15 Photos of China's Sinkhole Epidemic That Will Terrify You

WARNING! Chinese sinking feeling could be coming to a town near you...

PHOTOS: China, or the City of Atlantis? You decide.

China was well on its way to becoming an underwater city after several days of heavy downpour.

Useful Mandarin Phrases for Spring Festival and the Year of the Rat

Handy phrases to help you survive Chinese New Year.

The Ultimate Guide to International Schools in Zhejiang and Jiangsu 2020

A comprehensive guide to the best international schools in Eastern China’s Yangtze River Delta region.

Useful Mandarin Phrases: Thanksgiving

A list of essential Thanksgiving phrases to help you through the classic American holiday!

The Life of Lao She, the First People's Writer

All about the 20th century Chinese author's serious satire.

This Week In History: China at the 1984 LA Olympics

Defying a Soviet Union-led boycott, Li Ning earns the nickname Prince of Gymnasts.

Secret Stories Behind Chinese Stuff Revealed in This Photobook

Why are thermoses so popular in China? And what's the deal with all those red lanterns? This book is here to answer your questions.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.