Shicheng (literally meaning "Lion City") was built during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25 - 200). The name comes from Wu Shi Mountain (or "Five Lion" Mountain), which lies behind the city.
In 1959 the whole valley got submerged for the construction of the Xin'an River Hydropower Station, creating Qiandao Lake ("Thousand Island Lake").
The city is now a time capsule shielded from erosion by wind, rain and sun and remains undisturbed at a depth of 26-40m. Stairs in ancient houses, walls and memorial arches remain surprisingly intact.
Photos by Chinese National Geography
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