1. You think this is a house in the woods?
Fort Heldsberg, St. Margrethen
Peek into the underground bunkers and subterranean shelters that were built to prepare Switzerland for nuclear war
Switzerland hasn't been engaged in a military conflict for over 150 years, but hidden beneath the country's surface is a vast network of military bunkers and fallout shelters that exist to protect the Swiss people from potential onset of war and nuclear devastation. Many of these were built during the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear bombs seemed very real indeed.
Although the exact number of military bunkers isn't known, a common estimate is that there are around 20,000 bunkers dotted around Switzerland. There are also more than 300,000 private and public fallout shelters around the country.
All of which means that Switzerland would appear to have some potential protection for its citizens if nuclear conflict did occur, although it's not known just how effective these shelters – some built many decades ago – would be against modern-day threats.
But that doesn't stop us from taking a look into some of these mysterious spaces, thanks to a photographer calling himself Kecko, who's chronicled some of the most interesting bunkers and shelters in Switzerland. Here are a few of our favourites.
The dormitories for civilians do look a bit more inviting than the military's sleeping quarters.
Switzerland's obsession with fallout shelters stems from the cold war and the looming threat of nuclear war. After the Cuban missile crisis, the country passed the first laws for the creation of fallout shelters in 1963.Swiss Civil Defense Bunker, Berneck
This may look like a giant "Thunderbirds" type camouflaged doorway, but this is actually part of the bunker's ventilation system.
Although the size and extent of this bunker facility has not been revealed, many bunker tours still pass through here to marvel at Switzerland's feats of engineering and ingenuity.
Perhaps Switzerland's greatest strength doesn't come from having a huge army or arms, but the psychological effect on any potential invaders to doubt every rock, cave or mountain top as positions for Swiss military.
This entire mountain top is under the control of the Swiss army as a secret bunker complex, serviceable by cable cars.
This giant bunker was built between 1970 and 1976 at a cost of 40 million Swiss francs. If it ever had been needed, two motorway tunnels would have been sealed by four 350-ton gates, with room enough for 20,000 beds and hundreds of toilet cabins - in fact one third of the population of Lucerne would have found shelter here inside Mount Sonnenberg.
This strategic fort deep within the Gotthard massif was built to be completely hidden from view. Now the once secret stronghold is open to the public as a museum which provides a close look at its historical past.
The Null Stern Hotel's mission statement should tell you everything you need to know about this hotel-turned-museum: "where the only star is you".
Here's our guide to some of the coolest things to do and places to be this winter in Switzerland.
The world's steepest funicular railway' is located in the Alpine resort of Stoos.
PARTNER CONTENT Get more great tips on Switzerland with the UBS Moving to Switzerland Guide
Discover Time Out original video