Off limits – 5 places you won’t be visiting in your lifetime

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No matter how intrepid or tenacious they are, John and Jane Public won’t be visiting these five locations in their lifetime

Secrecy, sanctity, security and exclusivity – there are all manner of reasons why places are marked as off limits. No matter how intrepid or tenacious they are, John and Jane Public won’t be visiting these five locations in their lifetime. (Our featured image by Modern Relics.)

Mount Weather – Virginia, USA

Should there be a national disaster of apocalyptic proportions, this is where high ranking US officials, the President included, would most likely be evacuated to.

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains 48 miles outside Washington DC, this “Emergency Operations Center” was built during the height of the Cold War.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency responsible for the site, occupies a complex at ground level.

Beneath lies a 600,000 square-foot self-contained, “governmental continuity” bunker replete with its own television and radio studios for that all-important post-nuclear attack broadcast. No one gets in here. Not even the regular authorities – the facility is so secret it has its own police and fire departments.

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Metro 2 – Moscow, Russia

The existence of a second underground railway system beneath Moscow could probably now be described as more than a rumour, even if it doesn’t officially exist.

Codenamed D-6 by the KGB, these Stalin era tunnels are better known by the nickname Metro 2. The alleged four-line system purportedly exceeds the length of the Moscow Metro.

Area 51 – Nevada, USA
Area 51 – Nevada, USA. Photo by notevenathing

Area 51 – Nevada, USA

If there were ever a poster child of off-limits spaces, the highly secretive Area 51 military base and airfield would be it.

No one is quite sure what happens at this strip of Nevada desert 83 miles outside Sin City.

Some say it’s primarily a testing site for experimental aircraft and weapons.

The conspiracy theorists will have you believe it’s where they keep the UFOs. Either way, anyone looking to find out for themselves can expect to be met with deadly force.

Ise Jingu – Mie prefecture, Japan
Ise Jingu – Mie prefecture, Japan. Photo by ajari

Ise Jingu – Mie prefecture, Japan

Officially known as the Jingū (which translates as shrine), this huge complex of shrines split over two locations is considered one of Japan’s most sacred Shinto sites.

Access is seriously restricted – the public can only see the thatched roofs of some shrines over the fence.

That might be because this grand shrine is home to one of the most important objects in Japan, a sacred mirror called Yata no Kagami.

Only a high priest or priestess from the Japanese imperial family may see it.

Vatican Secret Archives – Vatican City
The entrance to the Archives, close to the Vatican Library, is approached through the Porta di S. Anna in via di Porta Angelica. Photo by Francisco Antunes

Vatican Secret Archives – Vatican City

The Vatican Secret Archives were separated from the Vatican Library in the early 17th century.

These 52 miles of shelves are a repository for documentation connected with the activities of the Holy See.

Technically, the archives and all contained within are the property of the Pope.

Until 1881, public access was strictly forbidden.

Nowadays, only certified researchers (around a 1,000 every year) are allowed in to examine them.


Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…

Off limits – 5 places you won’t be visiting in your lifetime was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Brett Ackroyd
Author: Brett Ackroyd (631 posts)

Brett hopes to one day reach the shores of far-flung Tristan da Cunha, the most remote of all the inhabited archipelagos on Earth…as to what he’ll do when he gets there, he hasn’t a clue. Over the last 10 years, London, New York, Cape Town and Pondicherry have all proudly been referred to as home. Now it’s Copenhagen’s turn, where he lends his travel expertise to momondo.com.