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What lies beneath...

What lies beneath...
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Talk about hiding in plain sight…each of these secret spots can be found in a famous landmark you may have visited.

The bomb shelter in the White House

The bomb shelter in the White House
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You’d think the White House, in Washington DC, USA, would have lots of secret spaces, but there’s only one you’re allowed to know about without security clearance, and even that’s not exactly public knowledge. We’re talking about the bomb shelter President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had constructed in the East Wing in December 1941. While he was having it built, “mum” was the word; he acknowledged only that the East Wing construction was under construction. Washington DC is also the location of some of the 11 biggest lies ever told in history.

Secret passage in Buckingham Palace

Secret passage in Buckingham Palace
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Maybe the reason we associate secret passages with the dwellings of heads of state is that secret passages are pretty much standard fare in royal palaces. For example, Buckingham Palace has a secret door in the White Drawing Room, which connects to The Queen’s private residence. Although the White Drawing Room is open to visitors, the door is not. Want to live like royalty? Rent out one of these European castles and you can!

Her Majesty’s secret panic rooms

Her Majesty’s secret panic rooms
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The passageway from the public to the private rooms at Buckingham Palace is just one of the secret spaces Queen Elizabeth II maintains there. In Buckingham Palace, as well as in Windsor Castle, The Queen has had “panic rooms” installed: very small bullet-proof, flame-retardant rooms in which she can hide in case of a bombing or any sort of terrorist attack. Check out these 14 enchanting places that look straight out of a fairy tale.

The secret bowling alley at the Frick Collection

The secret bowling alley at the Frick Collection
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There’s a good reason you can’t go into the bowling alley at the Frick Collection (an art museum located in a mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side that was once the home of the family of steel magnate, Henry Frick). It has only one exit, and that’s against New York City Fire Code. There are other private rooms in the mansion, but they’re not closed to the public. Speaking of arty mysteries, you’ll be fascinated by these 7 mysteries of the Mona Lisa.

The secret room in the arch at Washington Square Park

The secret room in the arch at Washington Square Park
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The Washington Square Park Arch in the USA looks just like the Arc de Triomphe, but here is a major difference: whereas the Arc de Triomphe has an interior that is open to the public (it even includes a museum), the Washington Square Park Arch has an interior, but very few people have ever been inside it, and frankly, from these photos, it looks super-spooky. Fancy a night inside a haunted house? Here are some of the spookiest to choose from.

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The little room hidden behind Mount Rushmore

The little room hidden behind Mount Rushmore
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Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, USA, is one of the 8 most famous monuments with little-known secrets. The secret it holds is a room hidden behind Lincoln’s head. The room was designed and is used as a “hall of records” that contains copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. What’s haunting about the secret room is that it the man who designed the monument died before the room was completed, and his original plan – to inscribe a written description of nine important events from U.S. history therein – was never realised. Sound like a conspiracy? Check out these 12 crazy conspiracy theories that actually turned out to be true.

The secret quarters at Monticello

The secret quarters at Monticello
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“As part of the $35-million Mountaintop Project restoration to return Monticello to the floorplan it had when [Thomas] Jefferson lived there, archaeologists and restoration experts have been renovating the building’s south wing,” writes Smithsonian Magazine of the building in Charlottesville, USA. In the course of their work, they discovered an area beside where Jefferson was believed to have slept, a hidden room. Small and windowless and believed to have been built in 1809, it may have been where Jefferson’s slave, Sally Hemings slept. Here are 51 facts you’ve always believed that have actually turned out to be false.

The secret cinema in the Paris Catacombs

The secret cinema in the Paris Catacombs
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Beneath the City of Paris lies over 300 kilometres of tunnels containing the remains of more than six million people who were relocated there from Parisian cemeteries between the 17th and the 19th centuries (because of cemetery overcrowding). The existence of the Catacombs is no secret, but here’s something that had been for quite a while: someone, or a group of someones, had secretly (and illegally) built an underground cinema and an adjoining restaurant. The police discovered the space in 2004, and a group called the Perforated Mexicans came forward to claim it as their work. Paris is the third most visited city in the world… find out the others here.

The secret room in the Medici Chapels

The secret room in the Medici Chapels
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In 1975, the then-director of the Medici Chapels museum in Florence, Italy was searching for a new exit route for visitors and stumbled upon a trapdoor beneath a closet. Further investigation revealed sketches and even doodles on the walls. Although unsigned, their style suggests the hallmarks of Michelangelo’s “signature style,” according to Conde Nast Traveler. The room has been closed for renovations ever since, although plans are underway for it to open to the public in 2020. Here are 10 strange urban legends that turned out to be true.

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