Whether you’re making sure that the door is locked at home or hiring security guards to protect your business, security is important because it gives you peace of mind. However, some places require more than just sufficient security. Such areas may have a squadron of heavily armed security guards, impenetrable construction of the building, and high-tech security systems, or a combination of any of these.
Unless you have superpowers or powerful connections to grant access to these premises (and even then, they are still not a guarantee), there’s no way for you to get in any of those places. Check out some of the unique places and facilities in the world that are heavily guarded:
1) Vatican Apostolic Archive (formerly the Vatican Secret Archives)
(Vatican City, Italy)
The Vatican Apostolic Archive (formerly known as the Vatican Secret Archives) is the central repository of Vatican City. The reigning pope owns all the material in the archive until his death or abdication, with the ownership being passed on to his successor.
The Vatican Apostolic Archive houses some of the rarest and most sacred documents in religious history. It also houses state papers, account books, correspondences, and many other documents that this tiny Papal state has accumulated over the centuries. The numbers of these volumes of information are estimated to be around 35,000.
The Vatican Apostolic Archive is quite “top secret” indeed that only a few pictures of them ever exist. Only the most qualified members of the clergy and academics are granted permission to enter the facility. Yet, they even had to secure advanced approval in order to view the items.
2) United States Bullion Depository, a.k.a. Fort Knox
(Washington D.C., United States of America)
Fort Knox is home to the U.S. Bullion Depository, where it stores about 5,000 tons of gold. In addition, it also houses some of the country’s most important documents, including the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence.
The facility has impenetrable layers of protection that include: a solid granite wall perimeter, steel-reinforced construction in the building itself, a battalion of heavily armed security guards, and gun-wielding military men. The bank vault itself is situated in the basement with a 250-ton door.
3) The White House
(Washington D.C., U.S.A.)
As you would expect, the U.S. President’s residence in Washington D.C. is heavily guarded and super-secure. Note the following: an iron fence surrounding the premises, bulletproof windows, and a 15-mile radius no-fly zone over the White House and its immediate surroundings. It even has a nuclear bunker. But the most bizarre security feature in the White House: special taste-testers who will make sure that no food served to the President has been poisoned!
4) Tumen River
(Bordering North Korea, China, and Russia)
The Tumen River is a 521-kilometer (324-mile) long river that also serves as a border between North Korea, China, and Russia. The river flows down the slopes of Mount Paektu and flows out to the Sea of Japan.
Just within a mile, you can start from North Korea, pass through China, and end up in Russia (or vice versa). This makes the Tumen River a good way out for those who wish to defect. For many years, North Korean refugees have been crossing the river while trying to defect across the Chinese border (most North Korean refugees crossed over the Tumen River during the 1990 famine). As such, the river has been heavily guarded by North Korean border patrols.
5) Granite Mountain Records Vault, a.k.a The Vault
(Wasatch Range, Utah, U.S.A.)
The Mormons own a secret vault, called Granite Mountain Records Vault (known simply as “The Vault), which is located in the Wasatch Mountain Range in Utah (which is not too far from Salt Lake City).
This large vault and archive houses a massive number of genealogy and family history records. These records are contained in more than 2.4 million microfilm rolls and 1 million microfiches. They are not just heavily guarded but also use technology that controls the temperature of the facility, which helps preserve these records.
6) Bold Lane Car Park
(Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom)
Bold Lane, a street in Derby, Derbyshire, is the home of the Bold Lane Car Park. It is a multi-story car park that is considered one of the most secure places in the world – or at least, it is claimed to be like that. So why is such a car park so heavily guarded?
The car park, which opened in 1974, at one point gained notoriety for being a haven for beggars and a venue for anti-social behaviors. Following a wave of crime and drug abuse, the car park underwent a period of upgrades and improvements. It reopened in 1998, and since then, there have been no reported crimes and gained a reputation as a high-security building.
The Bold Lane Car Park has bemused – and amused – security experts, who usually consider bank vaults, military bases and prisons as high-security facilities.
If you want to park your vehicle at Bold Lane, you can’t get in unless you have a barcoded ticket that indicates your exact parking slot. Once you park your car, it will be monitored by a CCTV camera and protected by sensors and alarms that will go off if someone attempts to mess with your car. If the sensors and alarms do go off, the whole building goes into lockdown mode. The car park has a total of 190 CCTV cameras.
7) Area 51
Area 51 is one of the most intensely guarded military facilities in the world – so well protected that no one can get in. Even flying over it is strictly forbidden.
Many people are aware of the conspiracy theories – including UFOs and alien conspiracies – surrounding Area 51. This U.S. Air Force facility is protected by motion sensors and a band of heavily armed security guards.