Erdstalls Tunnels: Central Europe’s last great mystery

Across Europe, there are hundreds of underground tunnels that, apparently, lead to nowhere and about which any historic records have ever been found. They are mostly located in the southern German state of Bavaria and the nearby Austria, where they are known by the German name “Erdstall”, which literally means “place under the earth”. Locally, they are also called by various names such as “Schrazelloch”, or “goblin hole”, but also “Alraunenhöhle”, meaning “mandrake cave”, which reflects the various theories and legends associated with the mysterious tunnels. Some believed that they…

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Old San Juan cemetery: the white graveyard overlooking the ocean that is accessed through a tunnel.

According locals, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, even a cemetery is extraordinary. And, apparently, this is one of the most beautiful in the world. Nestled on a hill in front of the blue Atlantic waters, and framed by the city walls, this beautiful cemetery is located amid two of the island’s busiest attractions, the El Morro fort and Castillo San Cristóbal. It lies close to the infamous neighborhood of La Perla, and is reached by way of a tunnel leading to the main gate. The gravestones have been placed very…

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Yangzhou Zhongshuge: this Chinese library’s interior is designed to look like an infinite tunnel of books

We are in Yangzhou. The Chinese city is known for its graceful arched bridges, proximity to the Yangtze River and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Architects kept these local features in mind while designing Zhongshuge Yangzhou, a new bookstore that features something unique, and a real dream for every reader: black mirrored floors shimmer beneath arched shelves that stretch to the ceiling, creating an optical illusion that turns an ordinary, rectangular room into a cylindrical never-ending tunnel of books. A zig-zagging gap prevents the top of the shelves from touching. When…

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#May 6, 1994: English Channel tunnel opens

The Channel Tunnel, or “Chunnel,” linking England and France,was officially opened on this day, in a ceremony presided over by England’s Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand, nearly 200 years after the idea was first suggested. The channel connected Britain and the European mainland for the first time since the Ice Age, linking Folkestone, England, with Coquelles, France. There were many misgivings, and the sea having protected for centuries what Shakespeare described as “this precious stone set in the silver sea…this fortress built by Nature for herself against…

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Malinta tunnel: war and ghosts in the Philippines

We are off the coast of the Philippines. Corregidor Island was a strategic place to hold during WWII, in fact the island was seen as the key to Manila, sitting just within its bay. As a result it was fought over by both the US and Japanese military, who both managed to secure the island at differing times. Being a place that was so brutally ravaged by war, Corregidor Island saw mass amounts of bloodshed and death, and it is thought to be one of the most haunted places in…

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