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You may have visited the Statue of Liberty, the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, Disneyland, and Mount Rushmore but you may not have know that these famous “places” have secret rooms.
The Statue of Liberty’s Torch Balcony
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Until a century ago, tourists were able to climb onto the platform of the Statue of Liberty’s torch. During World War I, an explosion in a military warehouse on a neighboring island in New York Harbor sent shrapnel into Lady Liberty, and the torch was damaged. It turned out that German agents had blown up munitions to keep them from being transported to Europe, where they would be used by British troops. Fearing more similar attacks, U.S. authorities decided not to reopen the torch, according to mnn.com.
Gladiators’ ‘Green Room’ Under the Colosseum
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Not every secret remains a secret. The basement tunnels of the Colosseum in Rome were once used by gladiators and wild animals, as they waited to appear in the arena above. These “green rooms,” collectively known as the hypogeum (underground chambers), were once off limits to tourists, but a portion of the basement was opened about a decade ago. Large parts of the famous landmark, which sees about four million visitors per year, are still off limits, however, according to mnn.com.
Exclusive Apartment in the Eiffel Tower
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Gustave Eiffel, the creator and namesake of the famous Parisian tower, built a room for himself near the top of the landmark. Eiffel would spend much time in the cozy apartment, probably enjoying the unparalleled view and privacy. Legend has it that wealthy Paris residents would offer him large sums of money to rent his rooms, but he always refused, according to mnn.com.
A luxury space further down the tower has welcomed guests in recent years. While the topmost apartment is still not available for rent, visitors can access it as part of a tour. Today, the apartment includes lifesize figures of Eiffel, and one of the few people he ever entertained there: Thomas Edison, according to mnn.com.
Disneyland’s Club 33
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While money couldn’t buy access to Eiffel’s tower-top apartment, it can get you into a secret part of Disneyland (California). Club 33 is located behind an unmarked door in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. Exclusive members, who have payed fees that reach to tens of thousands of dollars, have access to private lounges, as well as a restaurant bearing the club’s name, according to mnn.com.
The club is like a speakeasy, with members needing to press a hidden buzzer to gain access. Needless to say, almost all Disneyland visitors walk right past this entrance without having any idea that a luxurious club is right on the other side of the door. Similar Club 33s are opening in several Disney Worlds and Disneylands in Tokyo and Shanghai, according to mnn.com.
Hidden Hall of Records at Mount Rushmore
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A small room—only enough space to fit a handful of visitors—is located behind the head of Abraham Lincoln at Mount Rushmore. It’s too tough to reach by foot, but inside you’ll find copies of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, according to travelandleisure.com.
Winchester Mystery House
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Still looking for secret rooms? Check out the Winchester House in San Jose, CA. The Winchester house has 160 rooms, 950 doors, 10,000 windows, 40 stairways, 47 fireplaces, and six kitchens. Some people said that Sarah (owner of house) kept building the house larger out of fear, according to mentalfloss.com.
Sarah inherited her fortune from her husband who created the Winchester repeating rifle.Sarah issued many bizarre demands to her builders, including the building of trap doors, secret passages, a skylight in the floor, and staircases that led to nowhere. There is also a dangerous door on the second floor that opens out into nothing.In 1906, the great San Francisco Earthquake caused three floors of the then seven-story house to cave in. Several rooms were destroyed in the disaster— the rooms were never rebuilt, but cordoned off according to mentalfloss.com.
Unfortunately Sarah Winchester died in her sleep on September 5, 1922, at 82 years old, according to thetruthaboutsarahwinchester.com.