Every day we continue to experience life on Earth is inevitably one day closer to the end times. We’re not saying they’re near, and we’re not saying we can even conceive what the end times looks like – but we know that there are a group of people who certainly believe it’s coming sooner than later. Apocalypse. And the ones that have the lifestyle and ability to do something about that concern – well, they’re doing it. And we’ve found them. The underground bunkers you’re about to see are truly something special. Enjoy.
45. Banhof Data Center
This nuclear fallout shelter has been turned into an underground data center of all things. It’s pretty high-tech too. The luxury data center is complete with waterfalls, greenhouses, simulated daylight, German submarine engines and can withstand a direct hit by a hydrogen bomb! To find it, simply go to Stockholm City, Sweden, then burrow deep beneath. When you reach steel doors that are almost 16 inches thick, bingo, you are at the front gates! The data center looks surreal, almost like you are on the set of Jurassic Park and James Bond all rolled up into one. It even has fog to keep you “in the mood” for late-night data entry.
44. Cheyenne Mountain Complex
The Cheyenne Mountain Complex is a bomb shelter constructed by the government during the Cold War for military use. The complex was used for daily operations until July of 2006, when all operations were moved to Peterson Air Force Base. Now the facility is maintained so that it can be used at any moment if disaster strikes. The entire complex is constructed of steel and the main tunnel of the complex runs almost a mile through the center of the mountain. It was dug out of solid granite. The complex was designed to survive nuclear blasts within 1.5 nautical miles of the mountain. Water for the complex comes from a reservoir located inside.
43. Svalbard Global Seed Vault
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault was opened on February 26, 2008 and is located eight hundred miles from the North Pole. It was built to preserve seeds and maintain crop diversity throughout climate changes. Most of the facility is underground built into a snow-covered cliff. The only part of the building that is visible is a silver steel wedge protruding from the cliffside. When you enter the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, you must do so via a tunnel going straight into the cliffside. At the end of the tunnel is the entrance to the facility. Inside you will find white walls and shelves upon shelves of boxes filled with seeds from over 850,000 crops. If you have a green thumb, this is what heaven would be like.
42. Ouvrage Schoenenbourg
Ouvrage Schoenenbourg is a shelter that was built by the French for military use. It is located on the edge of Alsace and faces Germany. The bunker was built in 1931 for 41.2 million francs. During the war, it was run by 491 men and 17 officers. During World War II, it was used for combat. This fortification had the most combat happen near it during World War II and had the most ammunition used against it than any other French fortification. During the Cold War, it was used to defend against potential invasion by supporters of the Warsaw Pact. Later it was repaired and preserved and is now open to the public as a museum.
41. Cabinet War Rooms
Cabinet War Rooms are rooms built underground in the New Public Offices in England. When another war with Germany was imminent, the British decided to construct shelters for their government leaders to meet safely. When it was first built, the rooms were not bomb proof. It was not until 1940, in the middle of World War II, that the rooms were bomb proofed. Because it was the middle of the war, the bomb proofing was done in complete secrecy, a surprising feat considering this meant bringing in and installing steel girders and concrete slabs.
40. Greenbriar Resort Shelter
In the 1950s, an underground shelter was built in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The entire construction was performed in secret. The location of the bunker was not revealed until forty years later in 1992. They hid the construction by building it under the Greenbrier Resort at the same time a new hotel addition was being added. The workers were dressed as resort workers and all communication was routed through the hotel’s switchboard. While the shelter was still operating, it was kept fully stocked with furniture, food, and current magazines. Check in today and ask about the secret bunker. You might be surprised at what they tell you!
39. Moscow Metro
The Moscow Metro is the seventh largest metro system in the world. The first line was opened with thirteen stations in 1935. Construction continued even through World War II. During the war, parts of the metro were used as bomb shelters. The Moscow Metro is a very ornate system. Unlike the dark, dirty subways of New York City, the metro in Moscow is decorated with bronze statues, murals, mosaics, and chandeliers. Over the years, superstitions have developed concerning the statues. They believe if you touch a statue’s knee or a dog’s nose it will bring you good luck. Either way, should disaster strike, the metro will keep you safe.
38. Site R
How about a tour in a bunker used by the US government in case the Pentagon ever needed to relocate? Well, it can happen. Raven Rock Mountain Bunker (also known as Site R) is a deep underground bunker that can serve as a command post for the Pentagon if need be. Tours are only given through the Camp David Weekend program because of strict security requirements. However, making the tour is a once in a lifetime event. Participants will climb the huge microwave tower that links the bunker to the Pentagon and view the inside (which might mean a sneak peak at correspondence between the White House and CIA). Also, you can see generators, computer war stations, global communications and more. The tour ends with a stop in the cafe. You can enjoy a scenic view looking out one of the fake windows lining the walls of the cafe. How quaint and cozy!
37. Survival Condo Project
Pop quiz. What holds 70 people, can withstand winds up to 500 mph and is located 15 stories underground? The answer may surprise you. It’s a luxury condominium complex. Well it is now. Before, it was an old missile silo developed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960s. There are 72 of them, in total around the country. Yet, the Survival Condo Project is unique. They are designed to hold 72 people comfortably in about 2,000 square feet. They are stocked to sustain the colony size group of people for several years and cost between $1.5 million to $3 million each. The funny thing? Phase one is already sold out!
36. Upstate New York Shelter
Check out this Cold War era missile silo in upstate New York. It’s been converted into a luxury home and the inside is amazing. There’s a full kitchen with sweeping views of the scenic countryside. It’s huge too, featuring a full size flagstone island and double sink. All furnishings are modern and each layer contains its own special touches (like a modern office/bedroom combination and a private landing strip outside). This silo is the ultimate in safety and security since the nine floor structure starts 185 feet below ground. The 50 foot wide, 4 bedroom 4 bath tunnel took $750,000 to renovate. And the 19 acre landscape gives plenty of options for roaming above ground. Who’s in?
35. Luxury Survival Tubes
Florida-based company Atlas Design has created a fairly clever fallout shelter with all the comforts of home. In fact, you might say it’s a bit too modern. Each $60,000 metal tube comes ready to bury 20 feet below the ground so you are prepared if a nuclear holocaust hits. They are billed as “luxury survival tubes” equipped with flat screen TVs, leather couches, nice stainless steel sinks and modern work spaces. Atlas survival tubes measure 32 feet long by 10 feet wide and are easy to transport to your site for install. Yet, take heart. If you don’t want to go doomsday designer and spend $60k on a luxury tube you can get a base model for half the cost.
In China, they don’t just have underground bunkers they have entire underground cities! Such is the case with “Xianning.” It seems like the early 70s were a time when nuclear war lurked around every corner. As such, Emperor Mao commissioned several underground cities. This particular bunker was designated to house key industry leaders and military personnel as well as a large part of the general population of Hubei. Wandering through the bunker is fascinating. Not all of it is specked out for military purposes. On-site are shopping stores, restaurants, and living spaces. It’s a creepy look at the mindset of how countries were preparing for nuclear war in the 70s should a world leader ever press the button.
33. The Hole
This bunker in Canada is known as “The Hole.” It’s essentially two buildings nested inside a cave, 5 1/2 stories high. There are two entry points into the tunnel, as long as you can get through the 19-ton steel doors placed on site in case of emergency. And yes, you read correctly, doors, plural. There are three of them in succession. However, they are so precisely balanced that a five-year-old could move them with their fingers. Inside is a cafeteria, gym, barbershop and doctor’s office. Often, those who were assigned a tour in “The Hole” would spend their days monitoring radar screens in what was known as the “Blue Room.” After you completed your military tour, you were given a pen with a mushroom on it, a joking reference to nuclear holocaust. Also, you are considered an inductee to the Brotherhood of Underground Mushroomers, a select group of the Canadian Armed Forces. Today, it serves as an aerospace museum paying homage to tensions of the Cold War era.
32. Prenden Shelter
This bunker was built between 1978 to 1983 and buried fairly close to Prenden, part of the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany). It was created to be a command center for the German National Defense Counsel. The thought was during a crisis council members would convene at the bunker and control the battlefield underground, safely. Keep in mind, this was a product of the Warsaw Pact and at the time was considered to be one of the best constructed and equipped bunkers outside the Soviet Union. It was three stories total and contains a whopping 85,000 tons of concrete and is rather large, 213′ x 164′. Interestingly enough, the cut and cover method were employed to keep it hidden, but Western aerial reconnaissance discovered it soon after due to its sheer size. The landscape didn’t make sense.
31. Hill 60 Bunker
This bunker was actually composed of three different batteries, Breakwater Battery, Drummond Battery, and Illowra Battery (better known as Hill 60). Hill 60 served Australia well during World War II. It seemed that the entire world was attacking everywhere at every place. However, the main threat for Australia was either from the Japanese or German submarines. As a result, Australia put coastal defenses into place which meant the building of this incredible bunker. Concrete was used mostly for construction, and some of the old outdated cannons and other military weapons were modified for coastal defense. After the war, most of the bunker was left to decay, yet a bit of it was reserved and serves a purpose as a war museum.
30. Albanian Bunkers
Don’t let these seemingly makeshift like structures fool you. There were over 700,000 bunkers scattered across Albania during 40 years of communist leadership from 1967 to 1986. The result? One bunker for every four Albanian citizens. You could find them on the mountains, on beaches, in vineyards, villages, pastures, towns and the grounds of the best hotels Albania offers. Composed of iron, concrete, and steel, they were small structures. The only giveaway was a small concrete dome above ground. Once inside, only one or two people could fit comfortably. Now, after post-communist threat, they have found new life. People turn them into houses, beach huts, theater rooms, pizza ovens, beehives, youth hostels, flower planters, mushroom farms; you name it. The general consensus seems to be, if it can be thought up, Albania probably has a bunker you can use.
This once secret now not-so-secret bunker in Moscow, Russia was known as the Tangansky Protected Command Point or An-02. It’s huge by the way, more than 75,000 ft.² and lies at a depth of 213 feet below ground. In 1951, construction began on the facility due to fear of nuclear threat from the United States. And, since it was built using the exact same method the Russians used to construct the Moscow subway, it actually connects to the subway by two tunnels. The first connection was designed to be used as a supply line, while the second one would connect technical areas throughout the bunker. In 2006 it was sold to a private company who plans to turn it into a Cold War museum of all things. In addition, they expect to have a restaurant and spa located inside too. Judging from the pics we think we could spend a weekend there, how about you?
28. Null Stern Hotel
So this bunker has a bit of a twist. It’s actually an old Swiss Army nuclear fallout shelter converted into a luxury hotel. That’s right, for a few hundred dollars you can spend the night in a fallout shelter that you could’ve used for free during the 60s if the threat of nuclear attack were imminent. The bunker looks decidedly Swiss (think IKEA) with bold geometric patterns echoing the solid square lines of the bunker itself. Here’s the kicker though. The group has taken this concept to another level entirely. Now, for a few hundred dollars per night, you can literally sleep in a bed under the stars tucked into a mountain on the side of the Swiss Alps. No walls, no ceiling just you and the stars. There is a restroom if you want to walk 10 minutes to a restaurant, but other than that you are on your own. Maybe a night in the bunker isn’t such a bad idea after all.
27. The Shelter
So the next time you find yourself in Shanghai and have a hankering for electronic independent club music, head over to The Shelter. It’s a former nuclear fallout bomb shelter featuring the latest in cutting-edge dance music, DJs, artists and acts spanning the globe. And don’t be mistaken friends, this club is all about the music. For instance, DJ Premier, The Bug to Drexciya, Madlib and Dâm-Funk have graced this low ceiling sound tube with their presence. Music ranges from hip-hop to techno. Expect cheap drinks and the most fun-loving random crowd you’ve ever seen. If you want to get in really cheap, try sneaking in at 3 am on the weekends (they stop charging then and stay open until 5 am). We can definitely get used to this shelter.
Take one Cold War ghost of a missile silo, mix in a little Northeast rural Kansas flair, and what do you have? If you are Matt and Lee Fulkerson, you have one of the best air B& B situations on the planet. That’s right, they bought the 65-year-old nuclear silo and converted it to an air B& B. They call it Subterra. Guests who stay on-site have access to a full kitchen, laundry service, a private bathroom and fireplace for those cold nights spent underground when you want to feel warm and toasty. Matt and his wife say they have plans to make it a destination type experience. And by all accounts, it seems to be working. Several major media outlets have featured the silo since it is the first ever air B& B located in a former missile silo. So why are you waiting? Pack your bags Toto; it’s time to head back to Kansas!
25. Ark Two
Bruce Beach and his wife Jean are the creators of the Ark Two, an underground bunker that measures 10,000 feet. It is buried under layers of concrete and dirt over twelve and a half acres of land located near a stream. Beach began building his nuclear fallout shelter in 1980 by buying up forty-two old school buses and reinforcing them with steel to create bomb shelters. By 1982, the Ark Two was finished. Inside, Beach included a brig, mortuary, dentist chair, and chess sets (for those boring times). The only changes that need to be made to the Ark Two concern technology. Currently security screens are old Commodore 64 green screen computers and the telephone is a rotary phone.
24. Burlington Bunker
For a completely different type of experience, travel to the Corsham Cotswolds. Eighty feet below you’ll find the largest underground bunker in the UK. Also, it’s been one of the best-kept secrets of MOD history for the better part of 60 years. Known as Burlington Bunker, it’s an emergency relocation site in case the British government ever needs to retreat from the threat of imminent nuclear war. It has impressive sections including a broadcasting suite for the BBC and 10 miles of underground road. The bunker has a rather sizable canteen and seems to be ready to go at the drop of a hat. Its most striking feature is by far the telephone exchange. It’s the largest of its kind in the world.
23. Iron Mountain Storage Facility
Our next bunker is a former limestone mine owned by US Steel Corp. Today it stores everything from priceless works of art (original prints of classic motion pictures) to data storage for a little more than 2,300 government agencies and businesses across the United States. The facility employs more than 3,000 workers (they all wear a badge to gain access and grant entry). Iron Mountain National Data Center is 22o feet below ground and maintains a constant temp of 52 degrees. Even better, it’s virtually disaster-proof, so anything stored here is guaranteed safety. Even more interesting, the bunker spans 145 acres. Physical storage takes up 70 percent of that space. However, use has been shifting toward data storage more recently. Still, it makes you wonder what they have down there!
22. Caverns Inn
This bunker was built with one question in mind, “Would people pay hundreds of dollars per night to stay in an underground cave?” That was 2010. Today it is a reality, and yes, people pay. Located 200 feet underground, it’s a one-room cavernous suite beneath the Grand Canyon. Guests pony up $800 per night to experience the solitude and serenity that can only come from spending time in a cavern. Of course, a few things need consideration. For instance, the toilet only has enough water for five to six flushes. Guests can take the elevator topside to use an alternate restroom if need be. Also, there are two queen beds, flat screen TV, water heater and a mini fridge. Of course, movies abound like “The Descent,” and we are sure the film puns hits home for guests. Also, the 70-foot high ceiling makes for incredible acoustics. So, if sleeping with bats in total darkness is your thing, give this room in Peach Springs, Arizona a try. You won’t regret it.
21. Girard Henderson’s Bomb Shelter
Typically, words like “luxurious” and “cold war era bomb shelter “don’t go together. However, if your name is Gerard Henderson, you can pull it off. At his luxury home in Vegas, Henderson created one of the most elaborate fallout shelters a mere 26 feet below the earth’s surface. With comfort in mind, he put a sauna, swimming pool, waterfalls, and fountains inside. In fact, there’s even a tiny golf course and barbecue pit tucked inside fake boulders. To access the luxury bunker, you have to go to the back of the house and find an elevator. That takes you down to a very large 5000 ft.² basement. It’s actually another two bedroom house complete with bathrooms, a kitchen, and guest rooms. The room has ambient lighting to mimic the outside world. It progresses from day to night as the hour’s tick on. So, all of that to say, we’re not sure precisely what Henderson had in mind when he built the shelter in 1978, but the accommodations mean only one thing… he can party in safety like it’s 1999.
20. The Facility Apartments
It seems like luxury bunker apartments are all the rage after all. Here’s another one from the tiny Georgia town of Tifton. It’s a 12 bed 12 bath underground bunker built in 1969. It was updated to meet current building code in 2012 and can withstand a healthy 20 kiloton nuclear blast. However, the inside is just as amazing. For instance, there’s a 15 seat home theater, first-aid room, commercial kitchen and conference room. Topside you can practice your shooting skills on the 100-yard firearm range. Keeping the place well lit is not a problem either since the property features a backup solar system should the three-phase power plant ever go out. Plus, there is a 1,000 square-foot caretaker home above ground as well as 2000 ft.² of commercial warehouse space. As for the bunker? Yeah, it’s 14,000 ft.² of work/living space. Who is up for a Georgia road trip to see it?
19. Vivos Hotel Bunker
Head to Indiana for our next amazing bunker. This one features 12 foot high ceilings with an open concept living plan. It is also considered to be one of the best-fortified shelters in the Midwest. Inside accommodations look much like a four-star hotel with items such as leather furniture, modern kitchen with stainless appliances and a fully stocked pantry. Also, guests can find a workout room, First Aid room, beautifully appointed guest rooms and gardens with everything you need to grow your own vegetables. Bicycles, ATVs, a workshop, security devices, and tools are on hand as well. In other words, this bunker in Vivos, Indiana has everything you need to survive a nuclear fallout. This one is perfect for anyone looking to be well prepared for the worst.
18. Vivos xPoint
Vivos xPoint is near South Dakota (the Black Hills area in particular, just south of Edgemont). It’s actually a former munitions depot for the Army, featuring 575 concrete hardened military bunkers. It’s now being transformed into a massive survival shelter. It features nice leather furniture, modern stainless appliances and everything you need to survive a catastrophic event. Also, this is Bunker living, community style. Join the Vivos community and be ultrasafe should something horrible occur. It has an altitude of 3,800 ft.² Furthermore, it’s inland and more than 100 miles from any suspected nuclear targets. Even better, the security team can spot an approach from 3 miles out. Safe, secure, luxurious, what more could you ask for when the apocalypse happens?
17. Vivos Europa
So this bunker was built by a California entrepreneur to save millionaires in Germany. Yes, Robert Vicino, the brains behind our last two featured bunkers, designed a survival complex for Rothenstein, Germany millionaires. The complex features restaurants, custom apartments, theaters, swimming pools, gyms, helicopter service, and outdoor spaces. However, it is also built to withstand chemical agents, Tsunamis, earthquakes, nuclear blasts and other types of natural disasters. The property currently has a value of $1.1 billion and is expected to be turnkey operational for residents. Of course, simply having money to buy an apartment isn’t enough. The type of skill set the applicant possesses impact the conditions for residency. Once you are accepted, however, expect an experience like no other. Massive walls of glass, flat screen TVs, leather furnishings and ultra-modern decor are features of every private 2,500 square-foot apartment. How’s that for fallout style?
16. The Oppidum
This stand-alone bunker in the Czech Republic is quite private. In fact, from the skies, you would think the compound is just a large corporate building of some sort. However, the 323,000 square-foot property contains more than meets the eye. It’s the largest private residential doomsday shelter the world has ever seen. It’s called the Oppidum and features accommodations which are just as impressive underneath as they are topside. Of course, there are several security camera systems and other sorts of technology to keep the bunker private and protected. To access the shelter, you descend a hallway from the above ground living space. Once inside, the blast door seals in less than a minute. All threats of biological, chemical or nuclear threat cease to exist in this bunker. And spending time there won’t be a problem as there are features like an underground garden, swimming pool, library, cinema, spa, and leisure facilities. Need to do some business? No problem. Just head to the conference room. Also, there are surgical facilities in fully stocked medical supply rooms on site as well. If you have valuables to store, simply go to the private vault and take them inside. The Oppidum is one sleek sophisticated underground safe space.
15. Sonnenberg Tunnel
Between 1971 and 1976 the Sonnenberg Tunnel was constructed. It’s a 1,550 m long roadway tunnel. Located in Lucerne, Switzerland, it also happens to be the worlds largest fallout shelter. In fact, it can hold 20,000 people in the event of a disaster. Switzerland is unique in this aspect. They have enough fallout shelters/bunkers in their country to hold the entire population should the need arise. The Sonnenberg Tunnel is just one of the mass fallout bunkers constructed for their citizens. The bunkers are pretty impressive when you consider most of us think of hot cocoa and cough drops when we think of Sweden. Who knew they were this crafty and innovative?
14. Drakelow Tunnels
The Drakelow tunnels are a stark reminder of the cold war. During World War II they were used to manufacture machines, and there was plenty of space to do so. The Drakelow tunnels are an impressive 285,000 ft.² Today, they contain reminders of military past like electric vehicles and kitchen equipment used to feed the troops. However, currently, there are plans to transform the tunnels into a museum honoring the past. Large portions of the tunnel that were once used as offices will be converted to walkways with certain stopping points serving as museum exhibition spots. During the 1940s, about 600 people worked in the Drakelow tunnel network. It’s a hollow memento of the realities World War II brought to the UK.
13. Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker
Here’s a bunker that surprisingly remained secret for more than 60 years. That’s right, the 35,000 ft.² underground complex was designed to serve as the center of regional government if war ever broke out in England. It has been completely reconstructed at the cost of $41 million to be used as a museum. And all things considered, it’s a rare opportunity to step into the life of someone who worked during a time when nuclear war seemed imminent. Be sure to stop off at the Bistro for something warm to eat and also visit the Cold War gift shop. This bunker is one of the best interactive Cold War museums on the planet.
12. Region 6 Reading War Room
This is a rare look at early bunker construction. The RSG site in Whiteknights, Reading was designed for safety should an A-bomb hit. These types of bunkers were generally not equipped to withstand problems associated with hydrogen bombs. As such, during the mid-50s, most of them were upgraded to serve a greater range of war capacity. However, once inside you would find accommodations are very slim. This structure was literally designed to be a temporary bunker with minimal accommodations and furnishings made to facilitate communication and troop progress during times of war. Of course, you can still see the original generator, hand pumps and fuel tanks remain on site as well as the definite interior design which solidly screams the mid-1950s.
11. Kingsway Telephone Exchange
This bunker lies at the heart of London. That’s right, smack in the middle of the city lies a bunker network that most would only think are basic tube tunnels. This world tucked away from the masses was once used for offices, transport, and storage. It’s a weird mix of zigzag spaces that remains largely undiscovered by the general population. Originally built as a bomb shelter during World War II, it has a rather large capacity. In fact, it’s designed to hold half as many as the Switzerland Sonnenberg Tunnel. That’s right, 10,000 people can fit in this subterranean space. Incidentally, it happens to have one of the largest telephone exchanges for the area housed underneath. Also, it is rumored to have been used by MI6 at some point or another.
10. Anchor Telephone Exchange
Head to Birmingham, England for our next bunker. It’s actually a hardened telephone exchange built in 1953, yet, most didn’t know that. The guise was building another underground railway network. Ultimately, the exchange opened in September 1957 at the cost of about $6 million. It was initially one of 18 zone switching operation centers that fed the main line. It also served as a fallout shelter to be used if an attack were imminent. Even more interesting, it is said that workers were absolutely unaware they were building a nuclear bunker. In the event it needed to be used, dignitaries and heads of government would be given a three-minute warning to get out of Dodge and access the bunker below ground. Anchor Telephone Exchange was eventually declassified in the late 1960s.
9. Central Government War Headquarters
It seems like the Brits were up to something. In December 2004 a brief announcement posted to the Ministry of Defence’s website. It announced to the public that the former underground site located near Corsham in Wiltshire was declassified. This announcement signified the first official acknowledgment from the government that a huge urban fortress lay beneath the beautiful city. In fact, it was a closely guarded British military secret for about 40 years. Inside the 240-acre abandoned site, however, is nothing short of amazing. An artist was commissioned to paint the inside. Also, there were streets, canteens, hidden entrances and rooms designed for royalty. The bunker contained everything a 4,000 member government staff needed to survive for 90 days of the conflict. However, there was one downside. Their families were not included in that number.
8. Guardian Telephone Exchange
In England, if you happen to cross brick walls decorated with steel and barbed wire, it usually means there’s something important behind them. Such is the case with the Guardian Underground Telephone Exchange in Great Britain. It seems harmless enough, but it was designed to be a telephone exchange and bunker with a massive tunnel system. The goal was simple, create a secure communication network that could withstand a nuclear attack. During the war, communication was paramount. As such, the Guardian Exchange had a permanent crew of about 50 engineers. If a threat occurred, the workers would simply seal the 35-ton concrete door. Inside, they could survive for weeks on end until the danger passed.
7. Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker
Nestled in the borough of Brentwood, and Essex County, England is a rather large bunker. Maintenance continued throughout the Cold War years since it had the potential to serve as a regional headquarters for the government. On the surface, the cute bungalow seems cozy and quaint. It was designed to appear as nothing more than another holiday cottage. However, once inside, the bunker could be accessed via a tunnel in the bungalow. Ultimately, it descends 125 feet below the surface. Today, the site serves as a museum, and the public is invited to view the ghosts of a former bygone political era.
6. Magic Mountain
The Magic Mountain bunker was anything but magic. Its purpose was clear, survive a direct nuclear hit. If you wanted to be somewhere safe when all hell broke loose, this was the place. In fact, it was designed to be a key NATO asset and cost $69 million to build. Of course, as we have seen with other bunkers in this post, what used to cost millions can be snatched up for pennies on the dollar now. Once these Cold War structures find themselves in the hands of private corporations, they find new life as data storage, document storage or luxury hotel spaces. It seems there might be some magic left in Magic Mountain after all, if reinforced concrete and steel are your things.
5. York Bunker
Head to the Holgate area of the UK and find York Bunker. It is a two-story structure with a unique feature. It is semi-subterranean. However, that is by design. Its purpose was originally to serve as a communications point in case of nuclear fallout. However, it had a double life. From 1961-1991 it served as headquarters for the Number 20 group of the Royal Observer Corps. In 2006 it was acquired by the English Heritage Association to serve as a museum and tourist attraction. It’s a great look into ’80s Cold War panic, right down to the period computers, “vintage” kitchen and illuminated military maps.
4. Nuclear Military Plant
Southwest China has a special sort of bunker. It’s essentially an underground maze of caves that was created in the 60s to make plutonium. Now, it’s just a weird, odd curiosity. Today, 816 Nuclear Military Plant is loaded with modern lighting and sound. It serves as a sort of patriotic education center as well as a nod to history and science. The location of the bunker is in the Fuling district mountains, a former source of raw nuclear material. It was declassified in April 2002, however, to gain entrance visitors had to provide documentation, and even at that, only a small portion of the plant was open. The sole purpose of producing plutonium-239 was stopped by Beijing in 1984 just as construction was nearing completion. With that said, the Chinese government makes a point of letting visitors know no radioactive material was ever stored or produced there, so the cave is completely safe. It’s large too, covering 13,000 m². At least 100 individuals died during its original construction.
3. China’s Central Military Commission’s Joint Battle Command Centre
So where do China’s top leadership head when a threat is imminent? Well, today they would head to the karst caves, a deep limestone network that lies 1.24 miles below the surface. It’s sizable too. In fact, it said that a small city could survive there. Of course, small involves a supply of drinking water for 1 million people (however, the bunker is only designed for 1,000 or so). It’s known as the brain of the People’s Liberation Army because the bunker is where all decisions regarding the military are made. Daily, intel from the bunker monitors and reports activity across the five battle zones of China according to state media reports. It is capable of withstanding a direct nuclear strike and is another example of how untrustworthy most countries are of one another, even during times of peace.
2. Rising S Company
If you’re looking to purchase your own bunker, Rising S Company is a worthy consideration. They sell all steel reinforced containers using plate construction. Furthermore, they are treated with a 150-year rubber coating which yields minimal issues for maintenance. Also, these bunkers will not mildew, collapse, crack or mold. Instead, the steel expands and contracts with the ground. This function makes it much more stable than fiberglass or concrete. Typical layouts involve a power room, gym, storage tanks, living quarters, motor cafe and garage. Of course, you can customize them according to your liking, but one thing’s for sure. Ordering a bunker from Rising S means being well insulated and prepared for the worst!
1. Bunk’t 2
Here’s a bunker that’s not a bunker at all. Found in a nondescript square in Albania is Bunk’t 2, an art exhibit. According to the artist, it’s a memorial conceptualized and built with remembrance in mind for the victims of communist terror. Critics say the bunker is unnecessary since there is already a pavilion dedicated to victims of communist terror as part of the National Historical Museum. However, visitors can still enter the fake bunker and experience what life would have been like during times of threat. Inside are features like a man whispering a confession with a bunk bed and table nearby, as well as a Russian map of Berlin. The exhibit is described as a bit odd, yet it is undoubtedly an attempt at trying to reconcile feelings of an era gone by with modern interpretations of political aggression.