A cavern network located at the southernmost reminder of mainland Greece was once thought to it is in an enntrance gate to Hades.

You are watching: Gates of the underworld greek mythology


Hellam Township is deemed to function seven far gates, which once passed v in the ideal order, open up an enntrance gate to hell.

A secret chasm in the heart of the ancient Roman Forum, the Lacus Curtius to be once thought to it is in a gateway come hell.

Hades. Naraka. Guinee. Xibalba. Despite names may differ indigenous one collection of teachings come another, nearly every religious beliefs on the planet attributes the ide of an underworld—a location to which the souls that the dead space banished, for penance or punishment.

So in respect of 31 job of Halloween, us mined the Atlas for the miscellaneous purported gates to the netherworld, scattered across the globe, ranging from Mayan caves to Japanese swamps.

But remember: If you need to decide to visit any of this sites, it must be listed by method of a disclaimer that we take no responsibility whatsoever because that the consequences of her attempts to open an infernal portal.

You have actually been warned…

1. Cape Matapan Caves



The town of Vathia ~ above Cape Matapan. (Photo: Charles Nadeau/CC by 2.0)

Our first gateway is an entrance to the classic hell: the Cape Matapan Caves i beg your pardon are situated on the southernmost guideline of the Greek mainland. Cape Matapan—also known as Cape Tainaron, or Tenaro—is positioned on the end of the peninsula well-known as the Mani. The caves open up at sea-level into a cliff face beneath the headland, the precise point marked by the ruins of a Spartan temple above.

This was one of several entrances that the old Greeks ascribed to Hades, the Kingdom the the Shades. Others were to be uncovered at the Necromanteion the Ephyra top top the flow Acheron, and at Alepotrypa: another, smaller cave network ~ above the Mani.

When Orpheus travelled down to Hades come rescue Eurydice, that was claimed to be through the cavern on Cape Matapan; Hercules likewise used these caverns once he do his very own descent come the underworld. The geographer Pausanias figured out Cape Matapan together the suggest where, supposedly, “Cerberus was carried up native Hades by Herakles” (Description the Greece, 2nd century AD).

Another story related by Pausanias attached to the it s as beautiful as picture cape relates come the poet Arion, that escaped indigenous pirates to be lugged ashore through a pod the dolphins. A copper statue of the poet talk a dolphin stands on the stakes of the cape, not far from the ruins of a temple raised in honor of the sea god, Poseidon.

The caves in ~ Matapan can still be gotten in by visitors, back a boat is required to pass with the watery mouth that this details hellgate.

2. Hekla



Detail that Abraham Ortelius’ 1585 map that Iceland showing Hekla in eruption. (Photo: Abraham Ortelius/Public Domain)

Our next location, the imposing stratovolcano known as Hekla, can be found in the southern hills of Iceland… a fiery pit the lava that has actually long been connected with the fiery pit that Christian tradition. In the center Ages, Cistercian monks travelled much and large across Europe carrying tales the “Hekla Fell.”

In 1180, the monk Herbert de Clairvaux called the volcano in his book, Liber De Miraculis. The wrote: “The famous fiery cauldron of Sicily, i m sorry men call Hell’s chimney <…> the cauldron is affirmed to be like a little furnace contrasted to this huge inferno.”

The monk Benedict called Hekla together the “eternal jail of Judas” in his poem about the trips of Saint Brendan from 1120. Later, in 1341, the medieval Icelandic manuscript Flatey publication Annal described big birds the were apparently seen flying inside the fiery crater; these were believed to it is in the souls that the damned.

There have actually been an ext than 20 significant eruptions recorded since 874 AD, back in current years Hekla has actually been somewhat much more peaceful. Many superstitions regarding the volcano passed away out by the 19th century; nevertheless, neighborhood folklore still tells of witches who gather approximately the volcano’s peak each Easter.

3. Fengdu City the Ghosts



The Ghost King. (Photo: Britrob/CC through 2.0)

An completely quite various hellgate can be uncovered in the heart of China—a city the ghosts through close ties to Naraka, the underworld that Chinese mythology. Tourists to Fengdu room treated to a rarely glimpse into the operations of hell.

This 2,000-year-old settlement is located on Ming Hill, at the northern end of the Yangtze River. Founded during the Han empire (206 BC-220 AD), the Fengdu “City the Ghosts” bases its heritage on the story of two renegade officials who fled below to escape the Emperor. Their names, Yin and also Wang, were later adjusted to form a title for among the rulers the hell: “Qinguang Wang Jiang.”

Fengdu is renowned for the striking, traditional architecture and elaborate craftsmanship. Its streets and also squares are filled through statues of ghosts and also demons, and poignant reminders of the punishments the await the evil in the next life. Many of the city’s landmarks are connected to hellish themes: “Ghost Torturing Pass,” “Nothing-to-be-Done Bridge,” and also “Last Glance at residence Tower.”

Perhaps most striking of every though, is “The Ghost King”—a giant, sculpted face looking down on the city native a absent face. Measuring 138 meter (about 452 feet) tall and 217 meter (about 712 feet) across, Fengdu’s “Ghost King” is the biggest rock sculpture in the world.

4. Lacus Curtius


Remains of the “Crystal Maiden” Mayan sacrifice in Actun Tunichil Muknal cave. (Photo: Peter Andersen/CC BY-SA 3.0)

There is a cavern network situated in modern-day Belize, i m sorry the Mayans thought was an enntrance gate to their underworld: Xibalba.

The surname Actun Tunichil Muknal equates as “Cave the the crystal Sepulchre.” extensive research has linked the site, located in the Tapir mountain Nature Reserve, to ancient Mayan legends. These stories defined rivers of blood and also scorpions, and also a vast subterranean labyrinth ruled over by the Mayan death gods, the demonic “Lords that Xibalba.”

Since your rediscovery in 1989, the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal have become a popular destination for explorers. Over there are numerous landmarks the make this network an especially interesting, consisting of a vast chamber of stalactites known as the “Cathedral.”

Amongst scattered fragments of pottery and also bone, one of the more notable explorations is the skeleton of an 18-year-old girl. Believed to have actually been ritualistically murdered in the cavern as a sacrifice to the fatality Gods, she has been nicknamed the “Crystal Maiden”; over the 1,000 years since her death, she bones have calcified to produce a shimmering, decision effect.

Other person remains discovered in the caves were thought to have been sacrifices provided to the rain god Chac, and many of these show similar signs the calcification (although nobody are quite so perfectly preserved as the crystal Maiden). Another theory says that the miscellaneous dead may have actually been doubt of witchcraft—possibly suffering from physical or psychological ailments, your unburied corpses were sealed within the hell gate in really hopes that your spirits could be forever trapped.

6. The entrances of Guinee


Ruins of the Ploutonion at Hierapolis. (Photo: Mach/CC BY-SA 3.0)

The next hellgate ~ above our perform was discounted for countless years as a job-related of fiction; however, the old Greek site recognized as Pluto’s Gate, or the “Ploutonion,” has actually only freshly been rediscovered in Turkey.

An historical dig revealed the stays of an ancient temple positioned on a heat spring, long thought to have been a gateway come hell. This well-documented holy place of Pluto disappeared from records sometime approximately the 6th century.

See more: Watch Greatest Party Story Ever Full Episodes, Greatest Party Story Ever

Amongst the separating features that this particular gate room the toxic fumes i beg your pardon waft out from tunnels beneath. In times of classical times these were often inhaled through the priests of Pluto, promptly sending them right into hallucinogenic trance states. Creating at part time roughly the year 0 AD, the Greek thinker Strabo declared that, “any animal that passes inside meets prompt death.” also now, the poisonous vapors case the stays of birds the fly or colony too close come the ruins.