7 of the most intriguing underground cities in Europe

7 of the most intriguing underground cities in Europe

Musement takes a look at seven of the most beautiful underground cities in Europe.

Some people love nature more than anything, and their idea of a perfect holiday is to spend time in the middle of the woods or climbing jagged peaks. Others love to explore underwater while still others just don’t feel at home unless they’re surrounded by city streets.

If you fall into the latter, you’ve probably already visited the major European capitals…some, perhaps, many times over.   However, many of these cities have a secret side: churches, museums and monuments conceal arrow streets, catacombs, bunkers and secret passages all nestled underground. So, with that in mind, here’s a look at seven of the finest underground cities in Europe.

1. Brussels

Coudenberg Hill once stood in Brussels, the city that houses the European Parliament and the imposing Coudenberg Palace, a former symbol of the king’s power. A number of royal families lived here over the years, including the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.  However, a fire destroyed it in 1731, and, 40 years later, the Royal Palace of Brussels was constructed on top of its ruins. Today, you can visit these underground ruins by going in through the Bellevue Museum. A walk through the remains of the old palace’s corridors and rooms feels like journeying through time.

View this post on Instagram

🔵#interestingfacts 🗺🗿✈️Palais du Coudenberg – is a small hill in Brussels where the Palace of Coudenberg was built. For nearly 700 years, the Castle and then the Palace of Coudenberg were the seat of government of the counts, dukes, archdukes, kings, emperors and governors who from the 11th century until its destruction in 1731, exerted their sovereignty over the area of the Duchy of Brabant, now in the southern Netherlands and northern Belgium. After several years of recent excavations, the archaeological vestiges of the palace and its foundations are open to the public. 🔵5 – walls and alcoves, the oldest remains, 12th century. 🔵6 – bays leading to the gardens, 12th century. 🔵9 – two cellars built in the 15th century. 🔵10 – staircase towards the palaces inner courtyard. 🔵13 – original doors, dating from the 16th century. 🔵16 – spiral staircase, reminding us that the cellars were used in the 20th century. 🔵41 – View towards the courtyard of Hoogstraeten House. #dnescestujem#travel#travellover#travelblogger#travelphotography#brussels#belgium#history#architecture#architecture_hunter#ruins#oldbuilding#museum#palaisducoudenberg#люблюпутешествовать#likeforlikes#старинноездание#архитектура#история#fpvmverasmus#traineeinslord

A post shared by 💫🌏✈️Hali🌏✈️💫 (@hali_hyryavets) on

2. Naples

There are just as many riches underneath the city of Naples as there are above ground. Underground Naples tells stories that span the centuries, civilizations and cultures with the earliest finds dating back to 5,000 years ago. In the third century BC, the Greeks dug out the first system of galleries, quarrying limestone to build walls and temples. Later, the Romans expanded the underground network with a functional subterranean aqueduct that went all the way to Miseno. The underground tunnels were later used as bomb shelters during the Second World War. Today, this priceless underground heritage has been preserved and can still be visited, offering an unforgettable experience.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Cristina Villa (@8cry8) on

3. Genoa

Genoa is a fascinating city, made up of myriad narrow streets leading down towards the sea, which look like an intricate maze for those visiting the city for the first time. Its subterranean level is no different, with a labyrinth of tunnels, trenches, bunkers and secret passages to explore. There is even a real necropolis, the final resting place for the Genoese who died of the 1656 plague. Genoa offers a one-of-a-kind journey back in time.

4. Edinburgh

Back when Mary Queen of Scots lived in Edinburgh Castle, the Old Town looked a bit different than what we see today. The streets that branch off the Royal Mile were basically tunnels that housed the city’s residents, packed into crowded houses built on top of one another. The rich lived on the upper ‘floor’, while the poor were at the bottom with the livestock. Today, this maze of streets lies buried below the souvenir shops on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, and you can reach it from the entrance by Real Mary King’s Close. You will see eerie rooms where residents died from the plague, and you might even see the ghost of Annie, a girl abandoned by her family during the 1644 outbreak.

View this post on Instagram

#edinburgh #marykingsclose #scotland

A post shared by Pierre-C (@cpierre1974) on

5. Paris

The catacombs of Paris are among the world’s most famous underground attractions. Located 65 feet underground and almost 300 km long, the catacombs date back to the eighteenth century and contain the remains of six million Parisians. Visiting these underground tunnels in Paris may seem macabre as you pass the entrance sign that reads “Stop, this is the realm of death”. However, this is actually a place with a very powerful romantic and literary vibe: poems and fragments of literature intersperse the bones and skulls covering the walls. Legends about some of the catacombs’ permanent ‘residents’ enrich the experience.

6. Berlin

We go from the romantic 18th-century Parisian catacombs to Berlin’s underground, a witness to a more contemporary history: fallout bunkers and bomb shelters from World War II, sections of railway and secret passages to escape from East Berlin and storage spaces for breweries. Explore underground Berlin for a crash course in modern history and discover things you never knew about the Cold War and the Second World War.

View this post on Instagram

Berliner Unterwelten e.V. Berlin from below: Tour 1 – Dark Worlds. 「柏林地下世界」的Tour 1 Dark Worlds 是以二次世界大戰時柏林的防空洞為參觀對象, 也是最具代表和最熱門的行程。 這個解說行程在華人圈比較鮮為人知, 但在國外卻極受歡迎, 更深入認識柏林最快的方法之一。 由於裡面規定不能拍照, 所以我用官網圖來替代。 在導覽員帶領之下, 開始了我們地下柏林的奇幻旅程, 參觀了裡面ㄧ間又一間的房間, 聽導覽員詳盡地解說二戰時期防空洞的歷史背景、 當時人們如何使用防空洞, 以及戰爭時期人們對於戰爭的應對政策, 甚至我們還參觀到戰後初期, 由於物資過於貧乏而人們開始搜刮防空洞有價值的物品們以及那許許多多破碎的殘骸、軍械武器。 裡頭也處處擺滿了各種戰爭時期的標語與舊照片。 反應當時戰爭的情景。 這趟地下柏林世界, 我個人真的很推薦, 如果能來柏林, 一定要來參加這個行程, 更深一層地了解柏林。 #berlinerunterwelten #berlin #germany #cool #mustvisit #ww2

A post shared by You can just call me Chris. (@christina_wang_0205) on

7. Rome

Take a giant leap back in time to the vast underground city hidden below the streets of Rome, where hundreds of subterranean archeological sites lay. Their breathtaking historical and artistic diversity covers a remarkably wide span of time: limestone caves, both Jewish and Christian catacombs, places of worship, hydraulic works, Roman housing complexes and nymphaeums (underground buildings with tubs or fountains, meant to be used for sacred purposes) as well as modern tunnels and bomb shelters.

View this post on Instagram

The oldest painting in Rome #italy #tourist

A post shared by Wendy Terry Was Jukes (@wendy.terry61) on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *