A former nuclear base built underground in the world’s largest man-made cave during the Cold War has opened to the public in China, giving tourists the opportunity to explore the inner workings of the gigantic plant.
Built in Chongqinq in southwest China, the 816 Nuclear Military Plant is the largest of its kind in the world. Construction began on the plant in 1966, with work ongoing for 17 years before it was shut down by the Central Military Commission. The huge 104,000 square metre structure opened for tours to the public this month, offering a glimpse into the previously private base.
The cave was designed and constructed to withstand thousands of dynamite explosives, as well as magnitude eight earthquakes, with more than 60,000 soldiers taking part in the construction. Next month, veterans that took part in the building will be invited to visit the plant during a special tourism trade fair.
Exhibitions at the base include a selection of historical photos showing the plant as it once was, while different cavernous rooms and caves lit in a range of haunting colours are available for viewing. Certain areas of the gigantic structure are open to domestic tour groups at present, with plans in place for other areas to be unveiled and included in tours in the future.
Since opening its doors to the Chinese public, local residents have shown a keen interest in visiting the nuclear base. Plans are in place for the local government to work with travel agencies to promote the site for local tourism in the future.