Remarkable aerial pictures reveal China’s ‘invisible village’ where local residents live in subterranean caves – a lifestyle they have kept for 4,000 years
A centuries-old tradition in central China has seen indigenous people living underground in ancient ‘pit yards’ which will soon be open to the public.
The series of subterranean dwellings amount to nearly 10,000 homes in Sanmenxia city, Henan, according to a report by People’s Daily Online.
The courtyard homes, called Yaodongs, have had six generations living under their roofs for over 200 years and are currently under conservation
However the tradition itself in China is thought to date back over 4,000 years and have housed thousands of residents in the hills.
The origins of Yaodongs can be traced back to Bronze Age, when people lived in dwellings within deep pits and they became widely popular during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Today, the homesteads are much more modernised and many of them are equipped with electricity and other utilities.
The local government of Henan has announced that it is protecting the sites and plans to turn them into tourist attractions for curious visitors
The specific size and shape of the Yaodong varies depending on its location and over 30 million Chinese people live in such dwellings to this day.
The structures also boast the features including earthquake-resistance, sound-proofing and are even energy-efficient.
More importantly, there are wide wells that prevent floods and storms to ensure safety.