Dubbed Lion City has lain hidden under 131 feet of water

Pillars of Hercules.

Metropolis: Shi Cheng, dubbed Lion City after the Lion Mountains that surround it, has lain hidden under 131 feet of water since 1959 to generate hydroelectric power

How the Lion City was purposely-flooded to make way for a power station but remains completely intact 130ft underwater after 50 years

A maze of white temples, memorial arches, paved roads, and houses... hidden 130 feet underwater: this is China's real-life Atlantis.
The so-called Lion City, tucked in a lake between the Five Lion Mountain, was once Shi Cheng - the centre of politics and economics in the eastern province of Zhejiang.
But in 1959, the Chinese government decided a new hydroelectric power station was required - so built a man-made lake.

Classical: The structures in Shi Cheng were built 1,300 years ago featuring traditional Chinese statues. Away from the wind and sun, it has remained intact

Erecting a dam, the historical metropolis was slowly filled with water until it was completely submerged by the turquoise-blue mass now referred to as Qiandao Lake.
Depending on where on the lake bottom it is, the city is between 85 and 131 feet underwater.

Hidden: The city was once a political and economic hub for eastern China but after authorities built the man-made Qiandao Lake in 1959, it is nowhere to be seen

Divers have rediscovered the opulent city and plan to bring tourists round

Even wooden structures remain surprisingly strong, according to the team that have gone to inspect

There are rows of houses made out of brick, with wooden stairs that are still almost pristine

He said the island he called Atlantis 'in a single day and night... disappeared into the depths of the sea.'
Searches continue across the Mediterranean, particularly around Gibraltar, to find the original Atlantis.
But China's manmade version will soon be a renowned attraction.
Qiu Feng, a local tourism official, has now suggested using Shi Cheng as a destination for diving clubs.

Carvings: Visitors will be able to see the traditional engravings first-hand when guided by Qiu Feng and her team

Before: This is a sketch of the city dating back hundreds of years, showing people pacing the streets and goods being carted in on horseback

Locator: The newly-built lake, which has generated hydro-electric power for the region, is just south of Shanghai in the far east of China

A team was dispatched to explore the city before tours are designed.
Qui said: 'We were lucky. As soon as we dived into the lake, we found the outside wall of the town and even picked up a brick to prove it.'
Protected from wind, rain, and sun, the entire city has been branded a ‘time capsule’ as almost every structure remains completely intact, including wooden beams and stairs


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