Each and every year, millions of people visit world-famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the London Underground, and the Lincoln Memorial. These places are immensely popular with tourists and travelers, drawing in huge crowds every single day. You’ve probably visited at least a few world-renowned landmarks yourself, and maybe you thought you saw all there was to see, but the truth is that a lot of famous places have a few secrets up their sleeves!
From secret hidden bowling alleys to mystery rooms and underground bunkers, lots of the world’s most famous locations have hidden rooms and unseen surprises that most visitors never even know about! Even with countless people at these places every single day, their hidden secrets go undiscovered and unnoticed. Read on to learn all about some famous places from around the globe that are secretly concealing some surprising hidden gems.
A Secret Chamber at Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore is one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States and is by far the biggest site of interest in South Dakota. Nestled among the Black Hills, it famously depicts the faces of four famous US presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, carved in a granite cliff, but did you know that there’s a secret chamber nestled beneath?
The original sculptor of Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, planned to create a time capsule inside his masterpiece, allowing visitors to descend via an 800-foot stairwell and admire the capsule, hidden away behind Lincoln’s head. Well, the chamber was dug out and still exists, but the time capsule was never made. Instead, the sculptor died before the project was finished and the chamber was fitted with a titanium vault instead, housing key documents related to Rushmore’s construction.
An Eiffel Tower Apartment
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited landmarks on the planet. It draws millions of people to the streets of Paris every year, shining bright in the evenings and standing tall in the days for visitors to admire and enjoy. It’s a magnificent structure, but most people only see the crisscrossing beams of metal, without noticing the hidden apartment nestled near the top.
At the height of about 1,000 feet, the architect of the Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel, decided to build himself his own private apartment. After all, if he was building such a beautiful and impressive building, why shouldn’t he get to live in it too? Quite unlike the hard metal exterior of the tower, the apartment is a cozy and cute place, decorated with wooden furniture and colorful wallpaper. Still, Eiffel never rented it out and only rarely allowed guests to visit.
The Secret Subway at Crystal Palace
London has many famous landmarks such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, and it used to have another one known as The Crystal Palace. It was a beautiful cast-iron and plate-glass building, first constructed back in 1851. It was moved to an area in South London, which later became known as Crystal Palace, and the city built a special subway line heading right there so people could visit it.
Sadly, the palace burned down in 1936, and its rail lines were also destroyed at the same time. However, part of the subway station, decorated with stunning Victorian stone pillars, survived and still exists today, but is closed off to the public. It was used as an air-raid shelter back in the 40s and later hosted some dance parties, but hasn’t been used or opened for quite a while now.
A Subterranean Complex at the Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is one of several major landmarks in Washington DC and one of the most visited sites in the capital. Built to honor Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, the Lincoln Memorial sits on the western end of the National Mall and contains a huge statue of Lincoln himself, along with inscriptions of some of his most famous speeches.
It’s an amazing location, and most people are too busy looking up at Lincoln to know that it also houses a huge basement space right beneath their feet. The basement stretches out over three-stories and covers more than 43,000 square feet. Since the land around the monument was quite soft and marshy, the architects had to build a huge basement to support the structure above.
A Lookout Spot at the Statue of Liberty
Did you know that you used to be able to climb right up to the top of the Statue Of Liberty’s torch and admire the surrounding view? For many years, visitors ascended a spiral staircase and enjoyed the unique sights of one of NYC’s most famous landmarks. Sadly, World War I changed everything!
There was an explosion at a nearby military warehouse in the New York Harbor, and several pieces of shrapnel were sent in the direction of Liberty Island, damaging the statue’s torch. Ever since then, the lookout room has been closed off to the public. Instead, a webcam has been installed on the torch, allowing people to see the view without actually making the walk up to the top for themselves.