The cabinet’s “top secret” and bomb-proof bunker in Amsteg in canton Uri was built during the Second World War in case the Nazis came. It was officially called Project 1102 at first. In his new book “Switzerland unter Tag” (Switzerland below ground), journalist Jost Auf der Maur presents the Swiss government’s bolt-hole in pictures, with fascinating descriptions of how it came about.
There were real concerns for the mental condition of the seven cabinet ministers if the worst came to the worst and they had to take refuge in the 3,000-square-metre bunker. The cabinet’s bunker thus featured appropriate levels of comfort. There were three classes of bedroom, for example: singles with sponsored mouthwash for ministers, doubles for civil servants and bunk beds for the service staff. The rooms had pine panelling. The Sulzer company, which provided the emergency power facility, even had to undertake to be able to supply spare parts for 100 years.
The worst never did come to the worst. The cabinet’s former bunker in Amsteg now belongs to Swiss Gold Safe AG. As this private company’s name suggests, it is used to store valuables, works of art and cash, according to the book. The subterranean strong room is not open to visitors.
(Source: Jost Auf der Maur: Switzerland unter Tagexternal link. 144 pages with illustrations. The book is published by Echtzeit-Verlag)