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Army sell-off


Who would buy a WWII bunker?


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Every year the Swiss army sells off around 20 properties it no longer requires. Swiss television, RTS, went along to a viewing of a Second World War bunker. (RTS/swissinfo.ch)

A bunker in Bellegarde in canton Fribourg is for sale for a guide price of CHF10,000 ($9,800). It was built in 1941 under Switzerland’s Second World War strategy of creating a heavily fortified region which would provide a final resistance when facing invasion.

After the tour of the bunker, potential buyers were skeptical. Planning rules mean there’s not much you can do with it. Nothing can be stockpiled here. Even if the price seems very low, it would require a lot of investment later on. For instance, the entire site needs to be cleared of asbestos. 

If the bunker doesn’t find a buyer, it will be shut down. But because of its mountain setting, it’s not likely that it would be demolished. 

Most of Switzerland’s alpine fortresses were built just before or during the Second World War, but remained secret until the 1990s. Since then some have been opened as museums while others have been transformed for various uses, including high-security storage for data, archives and valuables, or as hotels or accommodation for asylum seekers.