25 Unbelievable Abandoned Missile Silos And Nuclear Bunkers

Posted by , Updated on April 22, 2024

Despite the relative peace we enjoy today, the brutal history of the past centuries is irrefutable. Even in North America, signs of this past can be witnessed in discarded missile silos and government bunkers that date back to the era of the Second World War. Across the Atlantic, in Europe, the sheer number of these subsurface bunkers is almost incomprehensible. From Switzerland to Paris, up to 25 awe-inspiring missile silos and nuclear bunkers, remnants of war, are spread across the entire continent.


Devil’s Slide Bunkers, California

Devil’s Slide BunkersSource: slate.com

Built in the 1930’s, this abandoned pillbox sticks out of the California coastline.


Greenbrier Bunker, West Virginia

Greenbrier BunkerSource: greenbrier.com

Built under a luxury hotel, from 1959-1992 this bunker was ready to house all of Congress for up to several years if need be. At least until it was exposed by a news reporter.


Duga Radar, Ukraine

Duga radarSource: newsweek.com

Called the “Steel Yard” by NATO countries, you can still find abandoned bunkers littered around this former Soviet radio base. You may want to be careful though, it’s really close to Chernobyl, so there are obvious radiation dangers.


Fort Ord, California

Fort OrdSource: nimst.tripod.com

Until it was abandoned in 1992, it was one of the largest military facilities in the country.


Fort Tilden, New York

Fort TildenSource: nps.gov

Found in Queens, this World War II era fortification had its guns aimed at the ocean with the intent of stopping an Axis invasion.


Balaklava Submarine Base, Crimea

Balaklava Submarine BaseSource: businessinsider.com

This Black Sea base was one of the Soviet Union’s most top-secret bases during the Cold War. It consists of numerous tunnels dug into the surrounding mountains.


Barnton Quarry, Edinburgh, Scotland

Barnton QuarrySource: bbc.com

This was the site of an underground bunker that coordinated the UK’s air defense in response to Soviet airspace intrusions during the 50’s.


Maunsell Sea Forts, North Sea

Maunsell Sea FortsSource: telegraph.co.uk

One of the most famous fortifications in the world, these sea fortifications off the coast of England were meant to protect the island from Nazi submarines.


Hitler’s Bunker...in Hollywood

HitlerSource: spiegel.de

We’re not even joking. In the 30’s, a US based Nazi group called the Silver Shirts built a bunker for Hitler thinking that one day he would come to the US. After World War II broke out, however, the Silver Shirts were all arrested and the bunker sits abandoned today.


Željava Air Base, Croatia

Željava Air BaseSource: dailymail.co.uk

Back in the day this was one of the largest fortifications in Europe. Thanks to the wars in Yugoslavia, however, today it is a bunch of abandoned bunkers surrounded by land mines.


Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex, North Dakota

Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard ComplexSource: gizmodo.com

You probably didn’t know there was a huge pyramid in the middle of North Dakota, did you? This enormous structure used to be part of a missile defense system called “Safeguard.”


Maginot Line, France

Maginot LineSource: history.com

Built along the border with Germany, the Maginot Line was supposed to protect France from Germany (it failed). Today, its name has become synonymous with expensive efforts that give a false sense of security.


Alvira, Pennsylvania

AlviraSource: atlasobscura.com

What had once been a lively town was bought by the US government and turned into a munitions factory during World War II. The plan wasn’t exactly a success, but a lot of the infrastructure had already been built so it was left as is. Today, you can fill your abandoned-bunker-appetite here!


Flak Towers, Germany and Austria

Flak TowersSource: airpower.at

These massive anti-aircraft structures were built by the Nazis. Today, some of them sit right where they were built as city residents go about their day on the surrounding streets.


Gare de l'Est, Paris

Gare de l'EstSource: leparisien.fr

Deep under Gare de l’Est (one of France’s busiest rail stations) is an abandoned bunker that was originally designed by the French to be an air raid shelter. It was then used by the Germans, but its exact purpose has never been discovered.


Johnston Atoll, United States

Johnston AtollSource: britannica.com

Located in the middle of the Pacific, it used to be an airbase, then it was a nuclear testing ground. Today it is administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.


Diefenbunker, Canada

DiefenbunkerSource: diefenbunker.ca

This was Canada’s answer to the Cold War. In 1958, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker ordered a bunker to be built that would allow the country to continue functioning in case of a nuclear emergency.


Saint Nazaire Submarine Base, France

Saint Nazaire Submarine BaseSource: nantes-tourisme.com

This U-boat bunker built by the Nazis was just one of many that they constructed along the coast of France.


Martin Marietta SM-68A-HGM-25A Titan I, Colorado

Martin Marietta SM-68A-HGM-25A Titan ISource: www.nationalmuseum.af.mil

While the name might not be very catchy, this nuclear silo near Dear Trail, Colorado is significant in that it held the first multi-stage ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) for the US military.


RAF Hethel, England

RAF HethelSource: geograph.org.uk

This abandoned British air force station is now the home of Lotus Cars.


Cape May, New Jersey

Cape MaySource: capemay.com

You can find the remains of a hollowed out World War II bunker right here on the beach. It’s true, we were slightly worried that the Nazis might reach America’s shores.


Normandy, France

NormandySource: ibtimes.co.uk

Left over from the battles surrounding D-Day, some of these bunkers are still surrounded by pocked Earth.



SwitzerlandSource: swissinfo.ch

Switzerland’s defense system is borderline legendary. Throughout both World Wars this small alpine country remained an island of neutrality. Part of its strategy was to build what it called the “National Redoubt.” Basically, it was a huge network of bunkers built into the Alps. They’re still there today.


Vogelsang Missile Base, Germany

VogelsangSource: bbc.com

This was one of the Soviet Union’s main storage facilities for its westward-pointing nuclear arsenal. The base was so well hidden in the east German forest that parts of it are still being found today.



AlbaniaSource: theguardian.com

The entire country is scattered with former military bunkers that are left over from the dictatorial regime of Enver Hoxha. They were the result of Hoxha’s extreme paranoia.

Note: his paranoia was partially justified because he was enemies with everybody (both sides during the Cold War).

Featured Image: https://pixabay.com (public domain), 25. Lawrence Lansing, Bunker at devils slide california, CC BY 3.0, 24. Bobak Ha’Eri, 2008-0831-TheGreenbrier-North, CC BY 3.0, 23. Ingmar Runge, DUGA Radar Array near Chernobyl, Ukraine 2014, CC BY 3.0, 22. McGhiever, Fort Ord Dunes 2013, CC BY-SA 3.0, 21. commons.wikimedia.org (public domain), 20. BUSHA, Вход на Объект 825 ГТС, CC BY-SA 3.0, 19. Kim Traynor, Arthur’s Seat from Edinburgh Castle, CC BY-SA 3.0, 18. Russss, Redsandsforts, CC BY-SA 3.0, 17. Roto3’14, Adolf Hitler 45, CC BY-SA 4.0, 16. Ballota, Željava, Underground 2, CC BY-SA 4.0, 15. commons.wikimedia.org (public domain), 14. en.wikipedia.org (public domain), 13. User:Ruhrfisch, Susquehanna Ordnance Depot Bunker, CC BY-SA 3.0, 12. commons.wikimedia.org (public domain), 11. commons.wikimedia.org(public domain), 10. commons.wikimedia.org (public domain), 9. SamuelDuval, Diefenbunker Tunnel, CC BY-SA 3.0, 8. Rama, Saint Nazaire submarine base mg 7840, CC BY-SA 2.0, 7. en.wikipedia.org (public domain), 6.  © Copyright Evelyn Simak and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence, 5. commons.wikimedia.org (public domain), 4. Frédéric Degives, Cratères à la pointe du Hoc, CC BY-SA 3.0, 3. Clément Dominik, Bunker-jaun, CC BY-SA 2.5, 2. Doris Antony, Berlin, Gleichen Vogelsang UTafel, CC BY-SA 4.0, 1. Elian Stefa, Gyler Mydyti, Albania triple bunker, CC BY-SA 3.0