Over the past couple of years, the world has learned more about the people of North Korea than ever before, thanks in part to images shared to the Internet by the lucky few granted permission to take them. According to Gizmodo, Elliott Davies of the website Earth Nutshell was among the first group of foreign visitors to North Korea to be given access to the entire Pyongyang Metro, the two-line system built 360 feet below the country.
According to Davies's blog post, the metro system is the deepest in the world and doubles as a nuclear bunker. Prior to 2010, visitors had to be accompanied by guides and were only allowed in two of the system's 16 stations. During his 16-day visit in 2014, Davies got to see it all and photographed the intricate murals of Kim Jong-Il and Kim Il-Sung, massive chandeliers, marble floors and pillars, and other ornate features. "The previously restricted Pyongyang Metro is surely one of the most mysterious, yet beautiful transit systems on earth, each station uniquely themed in ultra-nationalism, parading North Korea’s revolutionary goals and achievements to impressionable commuters," Davies writes. "In many ways, it’s a small museum, most of which formerly hidden from outside eyes and subsequently shrouded in conspiracy theories."
All images via Elliott Davies / Earth Nutshell