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These Minecraft ancient city redesigns are gloriously green

Minecraft ancient city build - a render of a fully lit ancient city covered in grass and restored structures
(Image credit: Unsorted Guy)

As if the deep dark weren't daunting enough, intrepid builders are out here pulling off entire redesigns of Minecraft 1.19's huge new ancient cities. You know, just a bit of light building between other projects.

The massive ruined structures found deep underground are spooky by default: ruined pillars dotting the darkness, covered in sculk blocks and shriekers ready to summon a warden if you don't tip-toe through their territory. 

Maybe the wardens are only cranky because their homes are in disrepair though. Luckily, these builders are renovating the ancient cities back to their imagined former glory. Some have been completely overhauled with lush cave greenery to prove they used to be life-sustaining genuine cities. Others add lore of their own and light up the darkness with an abundance of bright blocks. At least one decided to keep the spooky feel. Maybe the ancient cities were always dangerous. The most audacious of these builders have even completed their builds in hardcore mode, not creative. You won't catch me doing that.

Most of these builds get assistance for their lively auras from the best Minecraft shaders and Minecraft texture packs. I've collected some of the coolest ancient city builds and designs out there right now with a link to the builder who created them. As always, this is just the latest in amazing Minecrafting. We've also gathered up some really impressive desert temple redesigns, underwater bases, and many more of the best Minecraft builds.

(Image credit: Unsorted Guy)

This restored ancient city by Unsorted Guy rolls back the deep dark to a time before it was overrun by sculk and wardens. In this build showcase (opens in new tab), Unsorted Guy explains how he began by replacing all the sculk with deepslate blocks, converted the ceilings to stalactites, and brought in tons of vines and leaves from the lush caves. Along with restoring all the structures, Unsorted Guy relocates some grass blocks and digs out a pond, even builds his take on an ancient city farm. This place truly was full of life once. With all that water, the final build definitely has a sort of secret mountain city vibe to it.

I'm getting big Atlantis vibes off this reimagined ancient city by Andyisyoda. Once again, there's a ton of greenery being added here. I guess no one wants to imagine that these underground cities were always grey and colorless, huh? 

In the build timelapse embedded above you can watch Andyisyoda building high-fantasy bridges over a layer of water, all dripping with vines. Don't worry, they kept some of the spookiness intact with a lava moat circling the giant center portal. By the end, they've got an entire sunken city surrounded by towers, huge draping greenery, and walls of lights.

(Image credit: Fixxitt)

As if designing a city by hand weren't difficult enough, Fixxitt412 has done it entirely in hardcore survival mode, meaning no life after death, over the course of 100 days. Fixxitt's build is also super green, with manicured areas of flowers and farms, but they haven't completely eradicated all the sculk, which feels like a nice touch.

This build has a magical feel to it too, with lots of lights and stained glass emanating from the copper conduits on top of the central portal. They've even planned houses for some villagers to come down and live in the deep dark, though I do wonder how long they'd survive.

(Image credit: RandomGgames)

Another lush subterranean city was built by RandomGgames (opens in new tab) and OceanManRulesZaWardo. This one is more of an overgrown style, maybe even as abandoned as the ancient cities themselves already are. Like these other gorgeous green builds though, it makes use of tons of vines and leaves, bringing in some classic old glowstone blocks for lighting. It looks like the pair have cleared out pretty much all the sculk and replaced it with wood walkways and deepslate arches. 

(Image credit: Not_Seggie)

This "build" is actually just two screenshots (opens in new tab), not a fully fleshed-out undercity, but it's such a dang good image that I couldn't help but include it for all the other inspo-seekers in the room. 

This is the total opposite of all these calming, green recreations of the ancient city. If Seggie ever fleshed this out, I have no doubt it would wind up looking like an even more frightening place than a Nether fortress. That skull archway and all the blue flames are seriously foreboding.

(Image credit: Veyniac540)

Okay, so this isn't a Minecraft build at all. This is a Lego set design based on the ancient cities cooked up by Veyniac540 (opens in new tab). But come on, that's seriously neat. They've even put together the building instructions and parts list if you want to build it yourself (opens in new tab). You know, after you get done building things inside Minecraft.

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor and Chief Minecraft Liker in 2021. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, multiplayer cryptids, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.