Top 10 list of the hidden places in famous monuments like the statue of liberty and Mouth Rushmore you won’t believe the secrets
5 Secret room inside the Mount Rushmore Monument
The four enormous heads carved upon the face of Mount Rushmore are probably the most iconic American monument there is. The enormous landmark in South Dakota is annually visited by swarms of tourists and explorers, but its most intriguing attraction has been revealed just recently. Behind the granite twin of Abraham Lincoln is a square stone entrance, leading through a rough tunnel to a titanium vault. This is the so-called Hall of Records. The sculptor who designed the monument, a man called Gutzon Borglum, initially wanted to create a huge image across the mountain, including carvings of several important moments in American history, along with the four presidential heads. However, this was too complicated and the plan was scratched. Instead, he was allowed to construct this archive, a hidden storage space for the essential historical documents of the nation. Gutzon Borglum unfortunately died before his great project was finished, and the Hall of Records was abandoned for several decades. It was finally revived, to some extent, in the late 1990s. Several porcelain enamel panels with inscriptions of American history, as well as a biography of Gutzon Borglum, were placed into the vault and left for some distant future generations to find. Sadly, this intriguing chamber is beyond the reach of tourists.
4 A derelict ballroom in Melbourne
At Flinders Street Station, one of Australia’s busiest train stops, there is a little-known nook of complete and eerie silence: a ballroom, dating all the way back to 1899. Originally, it was designed to be a Victorian Railways Institute lecture hall, to hold staff training and various other events, and this ruined third floor also featured a library, a table tennis room, a gym, boxing ring and billiard room. It actually did host public events in the 1950s and 1960s, but it fell into disuse in the 80s, and it was closed off to the public in 1985. It was marked for demolition several times, until in 2015 the Victorian Government decided to invest AUD$100million into redeveloping it. The whole project of reviving the derelict segment of the building is, reportedly, scheduled to be completed in 2019.
3 The secret corridor of art in Florence
The mysterious passage, which is a kilometer long, is a direct connection between the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace. The passage has been dated back to 1565. It was created as a commemoration of the wedding of Francesco I and Joanna of Austria, and named Vasari, after the architect who constructed it. Cosimo de’ Medici, Francesco’s father, ordered this corridor to be made, to allow the family to travel more easily and enjoyably between their residence in Palazzo Pitti and government offices. The construction cut right through several medieval towns and many houses, an all the butchers were forced to relocate, because they offered a look and smell that was offensive to the family. They were replaced by jewelry stores. The passage was richly decorated, featuring art from the 16th and 17th centuries, and served its original purpose for 200 years. Then the gallery was made private property, and then WWII bombings partially destroyed it. It is undergoing renovation work, and should be reopened to the public sometime next year.
2 The Crystal Palace subway station in London
The Crystal Palace Station, which dates back to 1865, used to be a regular stop on the city’s High Line, until 1936 when it was ravaged by a terrible fire. Its connected subway was used as an air raid shelter during WWII, then in 1954 the station itself was closed, and demolished in 1961, but the railway was left in one piece. The abandoned Grade II listed walkway was a popular spot for children to go and play, and occasional raves were also thrown, until the 1990s when it was closed off. The local community has been trying, over the past few years, to raise funds and reopen it as a tourist attraction. Until that’s done, the Crystal Palace is open only once a year, for a guided tour, and tickets are limited.
1 A secret hatch in a Roman statue
Standing proud at the Fiumicino-Leonardo da Vinci airport to welcome travelers from all over the world into Rome, the 60ft tall bronze statue of Leonardo da Vinci lived up to its model and quietly kept a little secret of its own for 46 whole years. The statue was unveiled back in1960, and no one was any wiser at the time, except those who made it. However, in 2006, when it was time for some renovation work, the workers found a hidden hatch half way up the statue. Inside, it’s reported, they discovered two parchments: one was a listing of the attendees of the opening ceremony, and the other was a detailed account of the area’s history, written in Latin.