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.Cheap Flights To Virginia
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
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
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 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…