When living on the land becomes dangerous, expensive, or crowded, we have a few options – upwards in high-rise buildings, or downwards, inside the earth.
From ancient caves to underground tunnel networks, to new ecologically beneficial cities, evidence of people living under the surface is plentifold.
It is interesting to note that ‘going underground’ features strongly in legend and mythology, as in the kidnapping of Persephone by Hades, who took her to the Underworld, and the misdventures of Orpheus in search of his wife-to-be Eurydice, who was also kidnapped. Seen as Hell by Christian tradition, and the home of many a monster, commonly, the underground world was dark and dangerous (More HERE)
Were these myths to deter the adventurous from going where no man should go or to deter him from finding a Paradise Lost, the world’s best-kept secret.
HELSINKI’S NEW UNDERGROUND CITY
DERENKUYU UNDERGROUND CITY IN TURKEY
‘Hypogeum of Hal Saflienti’ TARXIEN UNDERGROUND TEMPLE, MALTA (4 LEVELS)
CATACOMBS OF ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT (rather wobbly guided tour by an excited American tourist)
CAPPUCHIN CATACOMBS OF PALERMO SICILY (scary!!)
STALIN’S SECRET UNDERGROUND CITY, MOSCOW
JERUSALEM’S SECRET TUNNELS
DAMANHUR TEMPLES OF HUMANKIND, ITALY
MONTE SANT’ANGELO, ITALY. To get to this sacred cave, one has to drive up to the top of a mountain (round 30 hair-pin bends) and then enter a plain church. Inside one descends down 5 flights of stairs to arrive in a huge cave ornamented like a cathedral. This cave is dedicated to the Archangel Michael:
“St. Michael the Archangel first appeared at Monte Sant’Angelo in 490. According to tradition, it all started when a local nobleman named Elvio Emmanuele lost the best bull of his herd. After much searching, he found it kneeling in a cave. Unable to approach it, Elvio shot the bull with an arrow, but the arrow turned around and struck the man instead.
Bewildered (and presumably bleeding), Elvio went to see his bishop, who ordered three days of prayer and fasting. At the end of the three days, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to the bishop and said:
‘I am Michael the Archangel and am always in the presence of God. I chose the cave that is sacred to me. There will be no more shedding of bull’s blood. Where the rocks open widely, the sins of men may be pardoned. What is asked here in prayer will be granted.’ “