New uses for old bunkers #13 – Switzerland – the country primed to demolish itself

bunker defense suisse 05 Les bunkers Suisses

A short one this – to direct the interested reader to BldgBlog’s recent post summarising a 1984 book by John McPhee, La Place de la Concorde Suisse which examines the ways in which the Swiss have co-opted mountains and their infrastructural tunnels and bridges in the defence scheme for that country. BldgBlog provide various fascinating illustrations of these geo-defensive multi-purposing, including the following quote from McPhee’s book:

“Near the German border of Switzerland, every railroad and highway tunnel has been prepared to pinch shut explosively. Nearby mountains have been made so porous that whole divisions can fit inside them. There are weapons and soldiers under barns. There are cannons inside pretty houses. Where Swiss highways happen to run on narrow ground between the edges of lakes and to the bottoms of cliffs, man-made rockslides are ready to slide”

Here’s a link to the BldgBlog article:

The photo above is from where there are a number of instances of bunkers disguised as mountain outcrops.

And finally here’s an upbeat tourism video that wanders the Swiss countryside strolling from gun emplacements disguised as picture-postcard chalets to mined roads and the domestic fall-out shelters under every home…


About lukebennett13
Reader & Course Leader, BSc Hons Real Estate, Sheffield Hallam University, UK. I TEACH: built environment law to construction, surveying, real estate and environmental management students. I RESEARCH: metal theft; urban exploration & recreational trespass; occupiers' perceptions of liability for their premises. I THINK: about the links between ideas, materialities and practices in the built environment. I WAS: an environmental lawyer working in commercial practice for 17 years before I joined academia in 2007. I EXPLAIN: the aims of my blogsite site here: LINKS: Twitter: @lukebennett13; Archive: EPITAPH: “He lived at a little distance from his body, regarding his own acts with doubtful side-glances.” James Joyce, Dubliners

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