Hidden away in plain sight, each of these secret locations is inside a famous monument that you may have already visited.
The White House Bunker
We can think that the White House has many secret corners. But, without having a security clearance, you only have the right to know of the existence of this one.
This is the air-raid shelter that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had built in the East Wing in December 1941. While it was being built, this shelter was referred to as “Mom.” The wing was under construction and that was the only information that was allowed to circulate.
Buckingham Palace Secret Passage
If we associate the secret passages with the dwellings of the heads of state, it is undoubtedly because this type of construction constitutes the standard of almost all the royal palaces. Buckingham Palace, for example, has a secret door in the White Drawing Room. It communicates with the Queen’s private residence. The White Room is accessible to visitors, but they are forbidden to go beyond this door.
Her Majesty The Queen’s Secure Coins
The passage that connects the public spaces to the private apartments of Buckingham Palace is not the only secret place available to Queen Elizabeth II.
Both at Buckingham and at Windsor Castle, she had “panic rooms” installed, very small bulletproof, fireproof rooms in which she could take refuge in the event of a bomb attack or an attack. terrorist attack of any kind.
The Frick Collection bowling alley
There’s a good reason you can’t frequent the Frick Collection bowling alley (this art museum in a mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side was once the family home of the steel magnate , Henry Frick).
The place only has one exit, which is against New York City fire regulations. The mansion has other private rooms which are open to the public.
Washington Square’s secret arch room
The arch in Washington Square looks like the Arc de Triomphe, but there is one major difference between these two monuments. While the interior of the Arc de Triomphe is open to the public (there is even a museum there), very few people have entered the Washington Square Arch, and frankly, if we stick to the photos (in English only), the place looks really scary.
The small hidden room behind Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota, is one of these 13 well-known monuments that hides its little secrets well. There is indeed a hidden room behind Lincoln’s head which has been designed as a “room of records” and which contains copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
But this room is secret and possibly haunted by the man who designed the monument (the famous rock-carved heads of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln). He died before this room was completed, and its original purpose to house a written record of nine of the most significant events in United States history never materialized.
The secret quarters of Monticello
Monticello is the estate where Thomas Jefferson — president of the United States from 1801 to 1809 — lived near Charlottesville, Virginia. When efforts were made to restore this building (which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List) to its original appearance when Jefferson lived there, archaeologists and restoration experts with of a budget of 35 million dollars, renovated the south wing of the building, can we read in the Smithsonian Magazine .
During their work, they discovered a hidden room adjoining where Jefferson is believed to have slept. Small and windowless, it is thought to have been built in 1809 and was probably the home of Jefferson’s slave, Sally Hemings.
The Secret Cinema of the Paris Catacombs
Under the city of Paris, 300 km of tunnels intertwine where the bones of more than six million people displaced there between the 17th and 19th centuries lie to relieve the overcrowded Parisian cemeteries.
The existence of the Catacombs is no secret to anyone, but something very strange has also been found there: a cinema. An individual – or a group – had secretly (and illegally) opened an underground movie theater there, attached to a dining room with a bar area. Police discovered the space in 2004, and a group known as the “Mexican Puncturer” claimed responsibility for its creation.
The Secret Chamber of the Medici Chapels
In 1975, while looking for a new way out for visitors, the director of the Medici Chapels Museum in Florence, Italy, came across a hatch concealed under a cupboard. Further investigation revealed sketches and scribbles on the walls in the room thus discovered.
Although unsigned, these drawings recall the very characteristic style of Michelangelo, we learn from Conde Nast Traveler. The hall has been closed for renovation since then, but is expected to open to the public in 2020.
Room 103 of the Empire State Building
You have to be someone really, really important to get access to the Empire State Building’s 103rd floor observation deck. According to the building’s fact sheet, only “VIPs, celebrities and dignitaries” can enter the top floor.
Recently, Taylor Swift was allowed to take photos in this almost secret room, in order to promote her “single” Welcome to New York, according to Travel + Leisure .
The secret room of the Statue of Liberty
There is a room inside the Statue of Liberty’s torch, but it has hardly ever been opened since July 30, 1916, the day “Black Tom” exploded.
During World War I, German spies blew up the ammunition depots on Black Tom, a small island in New York Harbor, damaging the statue and especially the torch. Only National Park Service employees have entered it since. They access it by a ladder of a dozen meters (40 feet). There are no plans to reopen the torch, due to the terrorist threat.
New York’s Carter Hotel secret bus station
The basement of the Carter Hotel, a rather seedy establishment in New York’s Times Square, hides a bus station that dates back nearly a century. Built in the 1930s, when the Carter was called the Dixie, the Central Union Bus Terminal was partly built underground. “Once lowered underground, the buses tipped onto a 10-meter (35-foot) turntable, then headed to their designated docking station,” says Scouting New York ‘s website. ). It is now a parking lot, but if you venture there you will still be able to find this hub.
The hidden apartment of the Eiffel Tower
Paris is a city that has a lot to hide, in its famous monuments which are nevertheless in plain sight.
The third secret Parisian location on this list is the hidden apartment on the third floor of the Eiffel Tower. It was built by the tower’s architect, Gustave Eiffel, who made it his own private apartment. It is no longer a secret because it is now accessible to visitors. But according to Architectural Digest , Eiffel kept the location a secret during his lifetime.