Facts about Shicheng – China’s Underwater Lion City

China’s 1300-year-old underwater city, Shicheng, is one of the places that can come close to be the lost city, Atlantis. However, we know definitely that is not Atlantis that treasure hunters are tirelessly searching for centuries.

No one will find buildings that are structured with golden bricks in Shicheng city as it was believed to be the case in Atlantis. Instead, divers can see deserted, rather intentionally flooded marvelous China’s city, which gave up its liveliness in the year 1959.

Here are the 10 facts about Shicheng city you may find interesting.

  1. Shicheng city was built during the Eastern Hand Dynasty ( 25-200 AD). Therefore, the underwater city includes several ancient structures and buildings that reflect the rich Chinese craftsmanship.
  1. Shicheng is also called the Lion city. Because it locates near the Five Lion Mountains, or as locals call it Wu Shi mountain, in China.
  2. The man-made lake Qiandao was intentionally created during the construction of Hin’an river dam to enable the operation of the hydroelectric power station. Now, the lake covers the ancient city completely, and only allows it to exist beneath its 131 feet turquoise water.
  1. Shicheng, the Lion city, once was the center for political and economic activities of the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang.
  1. The flooding led to the relocation of an estimated 290,000 people from the Lion city. Some of them were the descendants of families who lived in the city for centuries.
  2. Shicheng city was remained forgotten for about 42 years until the Chinese government organized an expedition in 2001 to observe the remains of the city. In 2011, when Chinese National Geography published several photos that depict the lively days of the city, local diving clubs showed interest to turn the city into the tourism destination.
    A sketch of Shicheng city

  3. Surprisingly, underwater photos of Shicheng, in current condition, showed that the city remained underwater in un-deteriorated shape. Even the wooden structures were intact. For that reason, many call the lion city “the underwater time capsule”. Archeologists believe that water protected the city from destructive effects of sun, wind, and rain.
  4. Unfortunately, only the experienced divers are allowed to dive and see this magnificent underwater city because diving routes are not fully mapped yet. The local diving operator, The big blue, categorized the area for only “exploratory dive”.
  5. Shicheng city included 265 memorial arches, 5 gates, paved streets, several stone structures that belong to the Ming and Qing dynasties, which ruled the area between the years 1368 and 1912. According to the article, the blue mass covered the 1300 villages and ten thousands of acres of farmlands.
  6. The man-made Qiandao lake, which covers the lion city, now houses 1078 scattered islands. Therefore, people call it “Thousand island lake”. And, it is one of the well-known tourist destinations with a beautiful natural environment.

By Arslan Batyrovich

Founder of
Writer, Researcher, Fact-finder, and All-in-one
Loves nature, Likes history, and Adores anything interesting
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