Underground city

For the Jules Verne novel The Underground City, see The Child of the Cavern.

An underground city is a series of linked subterranean spaces that may provide a defensive refuge; a place for living, working or shopping; a transit system; mausolea; wine or storage cellars; cisterns or drainage channels; or several of these. The term may also refer to a network of tunnels that connects buildings beneath street level., which may house office blocks, shopping malls, metro stations, theatres, and other attractions. These passages can usually be accessed through the public space of any of the buildings connecting to them, and sometimes have separate entries as well. This latter definition encompasses many modern structures, whereas the former more generally covers tunnel systems from ancient times to the present day.

Underground cities are especially functional in cities with very cold or hot climates, because they permit activities to be comfortably accessible year round without regard to the weather. Underground cities are similar in nature to skyway systems and may include some buildings linked by skyways or above-ground corridors rather than underground.

Possibly the most famous underground cities are Montreal's RÉSO, used by more people than any other locale and the largest underground city network in the world, and Toronto's PATH, which according to Guinness World Records, is the largest underground shopping complex in the world with 371,600 square metres (3,999,869 sq ft) of retail space.[1] Japan's underground networks, whereas individually smaller, are the most extensive overall with an estimated 76 underground shopping streets totaling over 900,000 square metres (9,687,519 sq ft) of floor space in 1996,[2] with many expansions since then.

Countries with underground cities include:


Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, has an extensive amount of underground cities in its Subte (the oldest subway system in South America). Most stations have small shops, bars and kiosks, while main hubs interconnect through underground pedestrian walkways with railroad stations, governmental buildings or shopping centres. Some have additional mall-like mezzanine levels, with the Centro Obelisk of Buenos Aires area (3 lines, 4 underground levels), Estación Retiro, Estación Constitución, Estación Once and Federico Lacroze railway station being the most important ones.


Sydney has a series of underground shopping malls around the underground station Town Hall. The tunnels run south to the George Street cinema district, west under the town hall, and north to Pitt Street Mall through the Queen Victoria Building. The northern branch links Queen Victoria Building with Galleries Victoria, Sydney Central Plaza (which in turn links underground to Westfield CentrePoint and internally above ground to Centrepoint, Imperial Arcade, Skygarden, Glasshouse, and the MLC Centre). The linked centres run for over 3 km (2 mi). In 2005, Westfield corporation submitted a development application to link Sydney Central Plaza underground with 3 other properties on Pitt Street Mall and extend the tunnel network by a further 500 m (1,640 ft) or more.

Perth has a small network of underground shopping malls running from the St Georges Terrace entrance to Trinity Arcade to Murray Street Mall.

The small town of Coober Pedy in northern South Australia has numerous underground residences and other facilities. The area was and is extensively mined for opal, and the settlers lived underground to escape the scorching daytime heat, often exceeding 40 °C (104 °F).


PATH entrance, Toronto.

The northern continental climate makes underground pedestrian malls quite useful.


Santiago has some elements of an underground city in its "Metro" subway system. While all stations have a small mezzanine level above the tracks for ticket purchase, some key stations have extensive areas of shops and kiosks in addition. Some stations even have an additional mall-like level between the street and the mezzanine levels.






In Thessaloniki, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman monuments coexist[6] that bear witness to the city history and its significance. Several of the underground secrets of Thessaloniki have been discovered and emerged, while restoration work is under process. Although the final result is impressive with underground monuments such as the Catacombs of St. John and the underground museum of the Agora, they do not comprise highlights for the city and access is still very limited or not permitted even to the locals by the Archaeological Department of the Thessaloniki underground Metro project.



Shiodome City Center underground in Minato, Tokyo, Japan


The top five largest underground "cities" (地下街, chikagai) in Japan are all shopping districts:

Tenjin Underground City in Chūō-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Tenjin Underground City in Chūō-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan


Jordan boasts the city of Petra — "rose-red city, half as old as time" — carved from the living rock.


Guanajuato city was built over old silver mines, some of which are used as roads. The Mexico DF metro system has many underground pedestrian walkways connecting stations.


In general, many large railway stations house underground hallways featuring shops, restaurants, banks and money exchange offices. A striking example of such stations would be the main hallway of the Amsterdam central station, which connects to the city's metro system, although due to renovation and re-building it is temporarily (2012–2015) no longer possible to walk from the subway to the train station without going outside.


Warsaw: Warszawa Centralna railway station is connected by underground Pedestrian tunnels to adjacent rail stations Warszawa Śródmieście and Warszawa WKD, Złote Tarasy shopping center, and the Centrum LIM skyscraper.[14]



South Korea





An underground mall in Taipei connecting two Taipei Metro stations.

Taipei has underground streets connecting two or more metro stations. In addition, there is a large underground shopping mall near the main train station.


A typical view from inside the underground city in Derinkuyu, one of the largest underground complexes in Cappadocia. There are few artifacts left from the original builders, mainly just large rocks that were used to block the passage for intruders. Most of the "cities" are corridors, but some places there are rooms large enough to live in, and some rooms that have the cross-like shape of a church, which is probably exactly what they were.


Kiev: An underground concourse extends underneath Khreschatyk Street from Maidan Nezalezhnosti to Ploscha L'va Tolstoho. The concourse connects to the Kiev Metro and to the Globe shopping mall beneath Maidan Nezalezhnosti.

United Kingdom

United States

Underground passage of the Empire State Plaza features a collection of large-scale abstract modern art

See also


  1. "Guinness World Records". GuinnessWorldRecords.cm.
  2. Golany, Gideon S.; Ojima, Toshio (1996). Geo-Space Urban Design. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-16252-3.
  3. Jiang, Steven. "Beijing Journal: An underground 'parallel universe'". Cable News Network (2008-02-01). Retrieved on 2008-07-14.
  4. http://www.lavoixdunord.fr/culture-loisirs/notre-tournee-des-visites-souterraines-a-arras-retour-ia0b0n2295600
  5. http://www.wegedererinnerung-nordfrankreich.com/die-wege/die-front/arras-der-wellington-steinbruch.html
  6. http://www.makthes.gr/news/reportage/64182
  7. سال آینده میدان هفت تیر زیرزمینی می شود
  8. 1 2 "Maastricht Kazematten". maastrichtunderground.nl. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  9. "Kazematten en schuilkelder". VVV Maastricht. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  10. "Sint Pietersberg". Stichting Natuurmonumenten. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  11. "Historie grotten". maastrichtunderground.nl. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  12. "Nachtwacht onder mergel". Municipality Maastricht. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  13. "Schuilkelder voor half Maastricht". Reformatorisch Dagblad. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  14. url=http://www.wykop.pl/ramka/325643/podziemne-miasto-w-warszawie/
  15. "Rail City".
  16. http://www.ogs.ny.gov/esp/CT/Art.asp
  17. Underground Atlanta homepage
  18. Map/Directory
  19. "Wright State mythbuster: the tunnel system". Wright State Newsroom. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  20. "Wright State mythbuster: the tunnel system". Wright State Newsroom. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  21. "Wright State mythbuster: the tunnel system". Wright State Newsroom. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  22. "disabilityfriendlycolleges.com". www.disabilityfriendlycolleges.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09.
  23. Map of Minnesota State Capitol complex
  24. "The Conncourse or The Underground". About.com.
  25. Chambers, Kelley (2007-01-19). "Downtown OKC's Underground set for completion next month". The Journal Record.
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