Home » The bunkers in Switzerland are considered the largest fortress in Europe

The bunkers in Switzerland are considered the largest fortress in Europe

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The world is full of undiscovered places, but sometimes there are those that were created by humans and forgotten. Lost places inspire many people who love to explore because they tell past stories and radiate decay and nostalgia in a particularly mystical way. This also applies to the camouflaged bunkers in Switzerland, which are located nowhere other than in the middle of the Alpine rocks. But they are not really forgotten.

Foto: Nagib/ Shutterstock


The background of the bunkers in Switzerland, which date back to the Second World War, are quite interesting. What is the reason why a country that insists so much on its neutrality saw shelters as a necessity? And what is so special about them?

Swiss fortress with perfect camouflage

Quelle: @johnnyharris/ Youtube

The fortresses in Switzerland were built during the Second World War. The country, which also wanted to maintain its neutrality at that time, was surrounded by Germany and Italy. However, Switzerland wanted to avoid a direct conflict, so the only option left for the country was to think about reliable air protection from which it could defend itself.

Quelle: @johnnyharris/ Youtube

When you consider that most of the Alpine country consists of the Alps, it was obvious that the rocks should be used for this purpose.

Long tunnels that are networked together and equipped with weapons, openings in the sheer rocks that are so well hidden that they can only be seen from above and with the help of a drone.

What’s special about the bunkers in Switzerland

Quelle: @johnnyharris/ Youtube

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There are shelters from the Second World War in pretty much every country in Europe. The special thing about the Swiss bunkers, however, is that the majority of them are not simply underground. No, entire mountains and rocks were drilled through, a talent that the Swiss already adopted in the 18th century.

Quelle: @johnnyharris/ Youtube

The idea was to build a huge fortress, or redoubt, as it is correctly called in the military, under the mountain masses. What emerged is described by some historians as “the largest fortress in Europe”. However, the purpose was not to directly defend the population (who lives in the harsh mountains anyway), but rather to make it clear: “If you want to take Switzerland, you first have to get through the mountains. And that will be impossible!”.

Quelle: @johnnyharris/ Youtube

Switzerland is characterized by mountain passes that were once built for trade and are the only routes through the mountains. In the event of an invasion, these useful passes would also be the ones through which the enemy would enter the country. For this reason, the Swiss concentrated on concentrating their bunkers in those very areas where they could direct their weapons to the mountain passes. In extreme cases, they could defend themselves from protected hiding places and the enemies would be trapped.

How many of these protective structures are there in the Swiss Alps?

Quelle: @johnnyharris/ Youtube

Where is the nearest bunker? A question that many WWII heritage hunters ask themselves. Well, you can definitely find more than enough of them in Switzerland. How many bunkers does Switzerland have? Officially there are over 74,000, although there are certainly still a few unknown places.

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Foto: Mario Krpan/ Shutterstock

The largest of these impresses with an area of ​​30,000 square meters, equipped with everything you need to survive. Even bedrooms and showers are located under 85 meters of stone, as well as cannons with ranges of up to 21 kilometers and generators for electricity. This bunker is located behind an entrance made of 2 meter thick concrete and consists of a whopping 8 kilometers of tunnels.

Foto: Geartooth Productions/ Shutterstock

But shelters are not only found in rocks. Even shelters are hidden in places you wouldn’t necessarily expect. So if you ever enjoy the typical Swiss idyll – with green meadows, massive mountain walls covered in snow and happy cows – there may well be a bunker over there under the inconspicuous barn.

Who owns the bunkers in Switzerland?

Quelle: @johnnyharris/ Youtube

The owners can be private individuals as well as military. Some are even used as museums and can be visited by tourists and guests. There are bunker hotels, those where cheese is aged or even mushrooms are grown.

This hotel is also pretty extraordinary!

So you won’t just find abandoned and forgotten bunkers. In fact, a shelter has become almost standard in homes in Switzerland. If you visit someone, they probably have a secure room like this in the basement. Since the government decided in the 1960s that every citizen had the right to a shelter, it supported the construction financially. The state covers 70% of the costs.

You can read here how to act correctly in the event of an evacuation or accident.

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