Lonely Planet Writer

A top-secret nuclear bunker is for sale in Switzerland

For those looking for a hideaway from a potential apocalypse, a villain’s lair or simply a really unique investment opportunity, look no further than this former nuclear bunker up for sale in Switzerland.

Inside the nuclear bunker for sale. Image by Griffiths Eccles
Inside the nuclear bunker for sale. Image by Griffiths Eccles

The site – named Project X-Ray by the investment firm marketing it – covers 4.81 acres in total above ground and includes a 15,000 square metre underground bunker built during the Cold War. The land is currently zoned for commercial use like disaster relief, a data centre or research and development, but with planning permission, it could potentially be a personal bunker for the super-rich’s Doomsday plan.

The bunker is designed to hold 1500 people and comes with its own air and water filtration plants, underground water reservoirs and backup generators. Safety is high on the agenda, with the site being advertised as “an environment born for unique security in a changing world”, complete with state of the art security measures, including protection from electromagnetic pulse, which is found in nuclear explosions.

Ebenalp, Appenzell Alps
The nuclear bunker is inside a mountain in a secret location in Switzerland. Image by Oscity/Shutterstock

The bunker is inside a granite mountain in central Switzerland in a top-secret location. In order to receive any further details about its location, prospective buyers must prove they have the ability to pay £25 million. This may be not too difficult as a report in the New Yorker earlier this year revealed some of Silicon Valley’s super-wealthy executives have become high-end survivalists, prepping for a potential catastrophe.

Exploring underground Switzerland

For a country famous for its peaks and mountains, Switzerland is another story beneath the earth’s surface. In 1963, during the height of Cold War hysteria, the country adopted a ‘shelters for all’ policy, meaning that there must be a place in bunkers for everybody in the country in the event of an emergency, like an atomic bomb.

Bunker door and stone wall in Ticino, Switzerland.
Bunkers are hidden all over Switzerland. Image by Mats Silvan

The law remains, despite recent attempts by the government to change it and there are an estimated 2300 large shelters addition to 360,000 privately built ones. With an excess of bunkers, some have been sold on and converted to new house, from everything from luxury hotels, data centres, cheese factories and museums.

There is still enough space to shelter inhabitants in the event of a disaster and some are even hidden in plain sight, disguised as barns or ordinary houses. Underneath Lucerne lies Sonnenberg, a seven-storey building which can safely house 20,000 people and was once the largest civilian shelter in the entire world. While it is still ready to be used as a shelter, there are monthly tours open to the public.