Shi Cheng, a Atlântida chinesa
A Chinese city, forgotten after it was flooded when the government built a dam that turned the valley it was in into a lake, has resurfaced as an underwater adventure park for tourists. The ancient city of Shi Cheng was also known as the Lion City because it was located in the province of Zhejiang, where it was surrounded by the five Lion Mountains. Founded over 1,300 years ago, it vanished from view 53 years ago when the Chinese government decided they needed a new hydroelectric power station. A dam was built to create a man-made lake, and as the water rose, the city was left at the bottom of this new found body of water. Depending on where on the lake bottom it is, the city is between 85 and 131 feet underwater. And there it remained forgotten until Qiu Feng, a local official in charge of tourism, introduced the idea of using Shi Cheng as a destination for diving clubs. For the first try it was a voyage of discovery, and 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." It was later discovered that the entire town was intact, including wooden beams and stairs. Now the city had attracted interest from archaeologists and a film crew has been on site to record the preservation of the lost ruins.
Templos, arcos monumentais, estradas de pedras e casas ainda sobrevivem, 50 anos depois de terem sido invadidos por água, na Atlântida chinesa, Shi Cheng. A cidade, que chegou a ser o centro político e económico da província de Zhejiang, foi sacrificada em 1959, para dar lugar a uma barragem.
Agora, quando se encontra 31 metros debaixo de água, Shi Cheng prepara-se para receber novamente turistas. É isso que esperam os responsáveis da província.
Situada no lago Quiadao, a chamada Cidade dos Leões esteve mais de 50 anos esquecida. Até agora: as autoridades estão a desenvolver um projecto que levará mergulhadores a tornarem-se guias de Shi Cheng. É que quase todas as estruturas da cidade mantêm-se intactas, incluindo as escadas de madeira, pelo que não faltarão curiosos a esta visita.