A Giant Abandoned Cold War Bunker in Southern Europe

Somewhere in Southern Europe stands a giant bunker, build within a mountain, that once was a massive, busy complex for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Build during the Cold War era, more specifically around the grounding of the Warsaw Pact, this bunker complex was a home for somewhere around 250 people, who were daily active within this complex, however in any case of emergency (such as a chemical attack etc.) the bunker could held up to 1000 souls.

This massive Cold War bunker complex had several commando centres, living spaces, sleeping rooms, a cantine, a machine room and various other utilities. Abandoned in 1995, this bunker complex is currently in a deteriorating state and access, which potentially could be life threatening, has been prohibited. Journalists from the area have denounced this and suggested to turn the bunker complex into a museum.

These photographs were taken by Arne Vanpachtenbeke, a free time urban explorer, with a love for abandoned places in Europe such as mines, bunkers and old factories. For at least 5 years already, he has visited such places to make photographs of these once busy complexes, which may be gone in the (near) future.

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Urban exploration, also known as Urbex, is the exploration of manmade structures, which most of the time are abandoned. Adhering to the philosopy of “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints.”, accessing some of these structures are possibly life threatening and, or forbidden. Hence, the location of structures, are also kept secret as far as possible to prevent vandalism or turning it into a tourist hotspot.