There are about 1000 people, with medieval technologies, that want to build a hidden city (so other people can't find it, or with minimal chance). They must:

  • have access water
  • have access to food
  • have enough space to live
  • live in city a long time
  • be able to get rid of trash and sewage they produce
  • be able to bury dead ones
  • be able to defend city if someone find it

What place they should chose and how they may convert that place into a city? The city may be able to expand later. Is the only option to make the city underground (hiding underground city is discussed here)?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Do you need a stereotypical city/town, or a hidden community within an existing city would suffice? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Apr 24, 2020 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ Hide from whom? $\endgroup$
    – John
    Apr 24, 2020 at 19:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How completely hidden does it have to be? There are extensive cave networks in Turkey, where the locals hid when enemies came, and due to their size/complexity/secret doors they couldn't be found. They didn't know EXACTLY where the people were, just had a general idea. A wide-ranging soft layer of rock under a sheet of much harder rock made for stable tunnels that were easy to dig. Problems come because cities are part of an economic ecosystem. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Apr 24, 2020 at 20:05

3 Answers 3


When it comes to hidden Cities you got a few options when the technologies of the rest of the world is at medieval levels. But when modern stuff like planes and satellites come in you are kinda stuck with going underground.

A Few options:

Magic, the go to for pretty much every problem if you are willing to use it...a magical barrier can function in any way the story teller wants it to (As long as it is kept consistent)

Superstition, if people believe a forest is haunted people will tent to keep out of it forming a natural barrier to hide your city...sure you got to kill a few people stupid/brave enough to ignore the "Haunted forest" signs but hey... what are a few lives in the greater picture?

A hollow Volcano that is only accessible through a hidden tunnel (perhaps an underwater tunnel). With artificial smoke being able to keep peeking eyes out.

The classic underground city is always an option. But kinda cliche (not that that is a bad thing)

On top off a steep mountain that is nearly impossible to climb (perhaps due to help from weather circumstances)

A hidden valley with hostile terrain surrounding it with a singular entrance point that can be traversed. Like the valley surrounded by giant mountains invested with monsters/animals or unbearable colds/storms but a small river going through a cave giving entrance to the area.


Inaccessible and with nothing of value

The Incas of Peru had hidden cities. They weren't hidden to the Inca Civilization but the Spanish never found some of them (e.g. Machu Picchu). Why? They were miles away from other civilization, through jungle, and at high altitude. They were incredibly complex, built to withstand earthquakes, with little aqueducts, terraced farming and knowledge about what animals and plant breeds grew best. They also had networks of runners to deliver messages between settlements - which would give them plenty of time to get warning of danger. The Inca people are also superbly adapted to life at high altitude (e.g. heart muscles) and eating the foods that grow well there (e.g. potatoes and starch digestion).

So have your civilization miles and miles away from other civilizations with little hermitages along the way with people that run and warn you of anyone coming. As long as you have no gold or other desirable material goods nobody will have any reason to look for you - but if they do you can either melt into the jungle with all your food and wait for them to pass through or starve, or hit them hard after they've been trecking for days through the jungle at high altitude (that they probably haven't acclimated to yet). Bonus points if your people already have genetics that allow them to live at high altitude and digest food that grows there better.


It is very remote and with everything of value.

Hanalei bay kauai

source For example, Hawaii. What a nice place to live. Stuff grows. You can surf. No bugs. No thorns. No snakes. Clothes optional. And so freaking far away from anywhere else that once people forget the secret method of getting there (like they did), no-one will ever come.

Until Captain Cook, but up until then no-one.

  • $\begingroup$ Right, be able to defend city if someone find it not gonna happen, will it? $\endgroup$ Apr 25, 2020 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ @AdrianColomitchi - also even if they do find it, unless you come armed with black measles the huge distance makes moving and supply an army impracticable $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Apr 25, 2020 at 13:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ An army, you say... Ummm... Really? For about 1000 people, with medieval technologies that need to defend everything of value? Besides, on a second though, measles is good enough. $\endgroup$ Apr 25, 2020 at 13:32

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