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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Swiss Bunkers disguised as Quaint Swiss Villas! (13 Pics)

At first glance, there is absolutely nothing strange nor suspicious about these quaint Swiss villas, located in the Swiss mountains. But, if you give a better look, you can clearly see that something is missing, the windowpanes don’t reflect the sunlight and on closer approach, the house looks impossibly narrow.

That is because this is no quaint Swiss chalet but rather a military bunker in disguise.



We come across to this amazing find thanks to Christian Schwager, photographer who by publishing the photo book: Falsche Chalets (Fake Chalets), revealed the well kept Swiss secret.


Until 2004, camouflaged bunkers were a well-kept military secret in Switzerland and many Swiss residents had no idea that there were weapons compounds sitting in the middle of the villages where they grew up until Schwager’s book of photographs went public.

Christian estimates there are at least 250 bunkers hiding behind well-disguised facades that have gone unnoticed for years, sometimes sitting right on the main streets of town. He has visited photographed over a hundred of them, mainly from World War II when aerial reconnaissance and espionage was rife and the government began dressing up their not-so-subtle concrete bunkers.




These pretty pastel chalets were built near Geneva as part of Switzerland’s WWII line of defense called the “Penthouse Line”, or more locally known as the “Toblerone Line” because of the concrete blocks that were installed which resembled the famous chocolate bar. Twelve military fortresses were built along the line, but these two were camouflaged to look more like they were housing Heidi than a bevy of weaponry.
The 7 foot thick walls of Villa Rose and Villa Verte are masterfully disguised like the perfectly manicured chalets that characterize the picturesque countryside.

Following the publishing of Christian Schwager’s book when Switzerland’s fake chalets became an open secret, Villa Rose was restored and opened to the public in 2006 as part of the European Heritage Days celebration.