56 votes

How to design a fortress in a mountain to keep it hidden, but still easily defensible?

From walking by casually? Easy. If you assume it needs to remain hidden from the valley below, you just need to place any entrances, windows, etc., behind a curve. I think your biggest issue by far ...
Mormacil's user avatar
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51 votes
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How to design a fortress in a mountain to keep it hidden, but still easily defensible?

Consider the real world underground city of Derinkuyu in Turkey They stumbled on a simple solution, a giant stone disc in a groove for a door. Easy to move and brace from the wide interior room but ...
John's user avatar
  • 81k
36 votes

Is it possible for a palace to be situated inside a mountain side?

If you haven't heard of Petra before, you're probably in for a treat. Here's a nice photo of Al-Khazneh, the treasury: (image credit: Elias Rovielo) Petra is a city, with large portions carved into ...
Starfish Prime's user avatar
33 votes

Reasons for a very small but very high mountain range in an area with no plate boundaries?

If it's even possible to begin with, how could high, small, isolated mountain ranges form in areas with no nearby plate boundaries? You asked for no nearby plate boundaries. This means that there ...
Gimelist's user avatar
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33 votes
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Can a giant mountain be used as a wind shield?

Your party lands in a crater like that of Haleakala. https://hanahou.com/14.4/quiet Of course, national park status alone isn’t enough to make a place quiet, as any visit to Yellowstone will prove. ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
31 votes

How to prevent a desert from forming alongside a large mountain

Deserts next to mountains are in part due to the rain shadow. As moist air rises across a mountain range, it rains, and that happens on the windward side of the mountain. The leeward side becomes a ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 115k
31 votes

How long lasts a second of eternity?

The mountain is made of diamond. Diamond on the Mohs scale is a 10. For the bird beak I have no solid data, so let's assume it has the same value as tooth enamel, which is about 5. Now let's make ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
31 votes

How would a secret tunnel be kept entirely secret?

The other answers cover how to stop someone just randomly turning up, but not how to stop a dedicated search team that tracks her down. There's an alternative. The protagonist's family made an ...
Nepene Nep's user avatar
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30 votes
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How do you build an underground city that "cuts through" a mountain range?

A few centuries By the middle ages, miners were quite good. They employed technology that was advanced for the time to solve major problems like flooding, ventilation, and removing spoil. If you're ...
Andrew Brēza's user avatar
28 votes

Can mountains ever transition abruptly to plains?

Solitary volcanic mountains Just as volcanic islands are specks of land in a great ocean of blue, solitary volcanoes on land can be equally spectacular. Mount Kilomanjaro is more famous, but perhaps ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.4k
27 votes

How to design a fortress in a mountain to keep it hidden, but still easily defensible?

I wonder that the other answer did not mention the National Redoubt of the Swiss Army. It is a well-hidden sytem of massive fortifications inside the mountains, so exactly the thing you are planning ...
Thorsten S.'s user avatar
  • 14.7k
27 votes

What would a mountain and desert made out of diamond, glass, or a see-through fantasy material look like?

like normal mountains and deserts, no it will not be see-through Mountains on earth are mostly made of quartz which is also transparent, are mountains see-through? impurities, crystal structure, ...
John's user avatar
  • 81k
26 votes

Are snow caps plausible for a mountain range in an extremely large desert?

Below is from Four Peaks, Arizona Here is the Ashgabat desert in Turkistan Below Mount Kodar, Trans-Baikal area, Siberian Mountains For various reasons, warm regions can have cold mountain tops. ...
Marlin Pierce's user avatar
25 votes

Can mountains ever transition abruptly to plains?

Brașov, in Romania (the link goes to a satellite view on Google Maps), is an example; the city is placed at the south-eastern end of a high plain, nestled against the Carpatian mountains and partly ...
AlexP's user avatar
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24 votes
Accepted

How quickly can I form a mountain chain?

How the Himalayas were made Mountain formation isn't the best known process in the world. The general process for the formation of the Himalayas is described in Wikipedia, as are the various ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.4k
24 votes
Accepted

Can mountains form in rings?

Absolutely, mountains can form in rings. Valles Caldera has a ring of mountains defining the caldera. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/04/Valle_Caldera%2C_New_Mexico.jpg/220px-...
David R's user avatar
  • 5,651
23 votes

How do you build an underground city that "cuts through" a mountain range?

Base it on a qanat. Qanats are deep tunnels bored into mountains to convey water down to dry lowlands. They are built using ancient Persian tech which impressed the Romans when they showed up. 14th ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
22 votes

How could I have a mountain range that completely bisects my land mass?

Doesn't this already happen in real life? The Urals separate Asian Russia from European Russia, the Himalaya separates the Indian subcontinent from Asia, just to cite some examples. When two tectonic ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
20 votes

How would a secret tunnel be kept entirely secret?

Have the tunnel start in the family cottage. Could be a root cellar, or a more traditional masonry basement, or hidden under the floor. For a medieval setting, how about under the open hearth, or ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 115k
20 votes

Would salt mines, lakes or flats be reasonably found in high, snowy elevations?

They mine a lot of pink salt in the Himalaya mountain range on Earth. This is the result of plate tectonics and many, many tens of millions of years of uplift. While not quite as high, the salt flats ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 11.5k
18 votes

Can mountains ever transition abruptly to plains?

Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs, Colorado is another example.
Marcel Lamothe's user avatar
18 votes

Can mountains form in rings?

Yes and no If you think about it, the Pacific "Ring of fire" is what you're looking for on a scale so grand that you don't find mountains at every inch along the tectonic plates. But it ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 122k
18 votes
Accepted

Could mountains form on anhydrous planets?

Erosion is responsible for flattening the mountains, bringing the rocks back to sea level, not for rising them. The most weathered down mountains look like gentle slopes, while the youngest ones are ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
17 votes

How to design a fortress in a mountain to keep it hidden, but still easily defensible?

Limestone caves Build your fortress in a region already full of caves and passages. Limestone is absolutely ideal for this, since it naturally forms all kinds of caves and other strange structures. ...
Werrf's user avatar
  • 15k
17 votes

Medieval town built on the desert side of a mountain range?

Your city can be an oasis on a trade route. Travelers going one direction are about to brave the desert after making it through the mountains. Travelers having made it through the desert need to get ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
16 votes
Accepted

Mountains and Nuclear Bombs

Mountains and other geological features act just like obstacles do against waves: they make the waves bounce and reflect. A nuclear blast has three primary effects that are detrimental to your ...
MichaelK's user avatar
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16 votes
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Geological aftereffects of an asteroid impact on a large mountain range?

The crust in that region is about 80 km thick, and there is no ocean around to fill the hole immediately after the impact. This means there would be no exposed magma interacting with water to cause ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
16 votes
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Are snow caps plausible for a mountain range in an extremely large desert?

Yes, but... You don't describe your desert. Let's assume it's the driest form of desert there is. You also don't describe what you're looking for in terms of a "snow cap," other than your ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 122k
15 votes

How to design a fortress in a mountain to keep it hidden, but still easily defensible?

A huge crater or depression at the top artificial or not would do the trick, build your fortress in it, site your first contact defenses at the rim, could even have a moat easily enough. Then ...
Kilisi's user avatar
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