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Places to hide in plain sight: Famous landmarks with hidden chambers

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, June 8, 2019  /  10:05 pm
Places to hide in plain sight: Famous landmarks with hidden chambers

An aerial view shows the Eiffel tower by the river Seine during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2018. (AFP/Gerard Julien)

Places like the White House or the Eiffel Tower are world-renowned landmarks keeping secret spots hidden from the public. Find out about more hidden chambers in these famous landmarks compiled by Reader’s Digest.

1. Bomb shelter in the East Wing, White House

The official residence of the President of the United States in Washington DC may have many secret spots, but only one is more or less public knowledge. It’s the one that President Franklin D. Roosevelt commissioned in the building’s East Wing in December 1941: a bomb shelter. Only acknowledging the project as the East Wing being under construction, Roosevelt kept the bomb shelter secret.

2. Hidden passage in Buckingham Palace

The White Drawing Room, as well as some other rooms in Buckingham Palace are open to visitors when the Queen retires to Scotland in the summer. It is the room where a “secret door” is installed. The door, which is not open to the public, opens to a passage that leads to the Queen’s private residence.

3. Secret room in the arch at Washington Square Park

The arch at Washington Square Park in the US looks quite similar to Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. While the latter has a space that opens for the public and includes a museum, the former has an interior that is much less accessible.

4. “Hall of Records” at Mount Rushmore

This famous monument in South Dakota holds a secret in the form of a room nestled behind Lincoln’s head. The room, called the “Hall of Records”, is where copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are stored. The man who designed the monument planned to inscribe a written description of nine important events in US history in the room. Unfortunately, he died before the plan came to realization.

Read also: Secret chamber uncovered 2,000 years on at Nero palace

5. Underground cinema in Paris Catacombs

A tunnel spanning 300 kilometers underneath the city of Paris, named the Catacombs, has been known to house the remains of 6 million people who were relocated from Parisian cemeteries between the 17th and 19th centuries because of overcrowding. Not as widely known, however, is that an underground cinema and an adjoining restaurant have been built secretly and illegally in the tunnel. The hidden facilities were discovered in 2004.

6. The closed room at the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty, in its torch to be exact, has a room that may never be opened again, because of the “Black Tom” explosion in July 30, 1916. According to Reader’s Digest, the only people who have entered the room since the incident are National Park Service staff, who climb into it using a 12-meter ladder.

7. The hidden apartment inside the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower attracts masses of tourists every year, but not many know that the building´s third floor houses an apartment. The architect and namesake of the tower, [Gustave] Eiffel, is said to have built the apartment as his own but he kept it locked. Now it is open for the public. (sop/mut)