Thursday, April 25, 2013

U-V Posts: Underworld Switzerland, part 2


Ah!  You have returned!  Very wise!  Welcome to the underground city of….

Festung Vitznau
Or
Vitznau Stronghold

It has long been rumored that 25% of Switzerland is underground.  How silly, right?  But there is actually some validity here.
A secret artillery fortress lies deep inside the Vitznau Mountain.  

It was built during World War II with tunnels that seem endless.  Three hundred thirty-seven men occupied these tunnels in 1943, manning cannons, monitoring German troop movements and preparing for any potential invasion.   

This fortress was opened to the public for tours in 1998, and is available to this day from May to October on Fridays.  Even more amazing is that this immense underworld is available for a variety of special events including appetizers and meals, even sleepovers in comfortably heated rooms, with breakfast in the morning. 

Go to this LINK
Go to the listed LINK above.
Set for a large banquet.  See LINK above.
A cannon, one of many.  See LINK above.
I would do this, definitely.

 Moment of humor from Bish Denham  who responded to an earlier post about blowing up a snowman head in Switzerland:

 That's hysterical! What a great way to end winter. My step-grandfather was Swiss. He used to tell this story about German and Swiss higher-ups viewing Swiss troops. The German says to the Swiss, "You know, our army is twice as large as yours." To which the Swiss says, "Then we will have to issue two bullets to our men."

The Swiss are truly amazing pragmatic people who prepare for contingencies.  Every apartment building, large store, government building, or house is equipped with a bomb shelter and owners are expected to maintain supplies for weeks of living in the shelter. Amazing, right?  Go to this site: Festung Vitznau

26 comments:

  1. An hour in the tunnel I could handle, a night might give me the heebie-jeebies. Heebie-jeebies is not conducive to a restful night's sleep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have felt that way about some caves, but I could do this no problem.

      Delete
  2. And I thought prepping was a fairly new concept... I have just made a new addition to my bucket list. I HAVE to go there. On another note, I love your step-grandfather's quote. It speaks of courage, and valiancy, and pride in one's country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you can visit Bish Denham's site. Her family is quite the explorers.
      Sooo, when should we all go to Vitznau?

      Delete
  3. That is soooo cool! What interesting facts. I love caving and exploring underground. I bet I'd love sleeping over in that place :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I could do it with ease, that would be fun. I mean it hasn't caved in this long, so my chance are good haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When the Swiss build something, you can bet it will be well constructed.

      Delete
  5. i think the idea of living underground, appeals to me because, it sounds cozy--like you are separated, in a good way from the world and it looks like you would hardly know you were underground!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On HGTV, there is a show "Extreme Houses" which highlight amazing houses world round. Some are built into mountains.

      Delete
  6. Takes some effort to stay a neutral country in the midst of it all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would think so. During WWII, with the news of war all around, I'd be looking to the sky a lot.

      Delete
  7. Whoah! My husband would love that. He is super into doomsday bunkers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then this is the vacation spot for him!!

      Delete
  8. 25% of the country is underground? Now, that's fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In a country surrounded by mountains, I wonder if some of the 25% consists of railway tunnels.

      Delete
  9. Wow, how amazing! I'd never heard of this. There's no way I'd be able to handle the sleepover, but maybe just one quick meal. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I feel like a chronic wuss here. Not only could I not manage the sleep over, the meal would be problematic as well. I would love to hear about it from braver souls though. And the 'two bullets' line I loved. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That "'two bullet' reference comes from Bish Denham at http://bish-randomthoughts.blogspot.com She is writing about her life on St. Thomas islands.

      Delete
  11. Wow! I had no idea the Swiss made so much use of tunnels/underground fortresses. I knew there was some, but not this much. Makes sense. And these new uses also make sense! I think I'd try it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are one of the few who have said they would give it a go. Good for you!

      Delete
  12. Yes, I remember hearing this before, that much of Switzerland is underground. I'm not surprised, given the history with the wars and such. Excellent piece here.

    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

    ReplyDelete
  13. This was a wonderful tour of the Swiss underground. I would also like to visit, but wouldn't want to spend the night.

    Julie

    ReplyDelete

Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!