What the Backstage Area of the Colosseum Hides

7 months ago

Hey check it out! You could technically live in the Eiffel Tower if you don’t mind residing in a small apartment. Gustave Eiffel designed the tower to feature a private apartment for himself right at the top of the construction. He left the place all neat and tidy, with all the necessary furniture.

These days the apartment is home to two mannequins, that of Eiffel himself and his equally famous friend Thomas Edison. A sneak peek of the apartment is available for tourists who purchase a ticket to the top of the tower.

If you ever pass through Trafalgar Square, you’ll surely miss London’s smallest police station since it’s hidden beneath a lamppost. The reason why it was placed there back in 1926 was to let police officers be close to public rallies. They happened quite a lot in that area. Some even said it used to have a direct phone line to Scotland Yard. It’s now used as a cleaning station, so there isn’t much to see there, apart from some mops.

Grand Central Station — one of New York’s busiest — has a great hidden activity for travelers. There are tennis courts available in a secret space named the Annex. This area used to host a lot of different things back in the day, from a recording studio to an art gallery. These days though, the location is known as the Vanderbilt Tennis Club and can be visited by the public.

Similar to Mr. Eiffel, producer Samuel Lionel “Roxy” Rothafel designed a hidden apartment for himself in the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. He also asked for the apartment — now called the Roxy Suite — to be decorated in the art deco style.

It features 20-foot-high ceilings covered in gold leaf and walls with floor-to-ceiling plush drapes. These days only Radio City performers and VIP guests can visit the location. You might be able to rent it out, too, but they say the prices are very high.

Rome’s best-known symbol, the Colosseum, has secret tunnels hidden beneath its grounds. Back in the day, ancient Romans used these passageways to keep wild animals, like lions, tigers, elephants, and bears, as they were used for gladiator fights and other types of entertainment.

They’ve been open for visitors since 2010, along with the Colosseum’s plumbing system. It was quite the technological advancement for the time featuring drinking fountains and even toilets. There are some people that have criticized the opening of these secret tunnels. They believe it might affect the building’s structure, given the huge traffic of visitors.

The Empire State Building is said to have 102 floors, but that’s not true. It actually has a secret 103rd floor. The way to access it is through a hidden staircase located on the 102nd floor. But it’s mostly available for the building’s engineers — and celebrities from time to time. That’s not all; the 103rd floor then leads to the Empire State Building’s “capsule.” It’s the building’s famous dome. One of the most famous American landmarks features a mysterious hidden chamber.

If current records are true, there’s a secret room behind Abraham Lincoln’s head from Mount Rushmore. It was meant to keep relevant artifacts and documents of American history, like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. We know now that these important documents are kept in another location, and the Mount Rushmore room remains inaccessible to the public to this day. Like maybe, it’s a video game room for the Park Rangers. Or not...

The British Queen had some secrets of her own, hidden beneath Buckingham Palace. This popular tourist attraction has many secluded nooks, corners, and passageways that allow royal family members and their staff to move around and even surprise guests. In the White Drawing Room, for example, there is a secret doorway leading to the Queen’s private state apartments. It’s hidden behind a mirror and a cabinet. The Queen often made a surprise entrance from this door when greeting audiences during small gatherings.

Completed between 2550 and 2490 BCE, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the last remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Constructed as a resting place for the fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, it was thought to feature the Grand Gallery, the King’s Chamber, and the Queen’s Chamber. But that’s not all, as recently a secret room was discovered here! Dubbed The Big Void, kinda like my head, this huge space is nearly 100 feet long. Its main purpose is still up for debate, but some archeologists believe it was used as an internal ramp to help build the massive structure.

Cinderella Castle is the main attraction of Disney World in Orlando, Florida, in an area called the Magic Kingdom. It does have a hidden room of its own, dubbed the Cinderella Suite. The suite was originally intended to host Walt Disney himself and his family. He passed away in 1966, and he never got to see the final result. It was finally finished in 2006, and ever since, it’s only been open a limited number of times and only for visitors invited by the Disney company.

Grand Central isn’t the only station with hidden features. Italy has its own Milano Centrale, the country’s second-largest railway station. More than 320,000 passengers pass by these walls every day, but most of them never notice the closed doors on the sidewall of the station leading to the Royal Pavilion — a fashionable area designed as a waiting room for the Royal Family. The pavilion features two grand halls, divided into two floors, with luxurious furniture, styled marble, all decorated with royal sculptures.

Even the Statue of Liberty has a hidden room. Try to guess where it is? It’s in the torch of the statue! Unfortunately, it’s not available to the public ever since it was completely closed back in 1916. A camera was placed here back in 2011 to allow people to enjoy live-streaming of the panoramic view.

A statue of Leonardo da Vinci located at Rome’s Fiumicino-Leonardo da Vinci Airport was first unveiled back in 1960. It recently went under renovation. One of the workers made a mysterious discovery during this process: a small hole, somewhere in the middle of the statue — at about 30 feet. After it was carefully opened, two parchments were found inside. Written in classical Latin, the first document told the history of the area that now houses the airport. The other one provided a list of people who attended the inauguration of the statue.

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. has a secret sports facility where clerks, off-duty police officers, and other Supreme Court employees can play basketball. The court located on the top floor of the building is obviously dubbed “The Highest Court in the Land.” Excuse me while I dribble.

Disneyland’s Club 33 is located in the New Orleans Square section of the theme park in Anaheim, California. This exclusive clubhouses only 500 members, and it was inaugurated in 1967. It aimed to entertain celebrities, politicians, and sponsors. The decorations were courtesy of Walt Disney himself and his wife.

Services here come at a hefty price: members have to pay $25,000 to join the club and later a yearly fee of between $12,000 to $25,000. The entrance to the club was easy to miss since it was hidden behind a doorway with a single golden plate that had the number 33 engraved on it. A makeover of the club took place in 2014. They moved the entrance to an even more secret location, but people can still see the old one in its original place.

The New York City public libraries have hidden apartments, too. Employees and their families could stay in those hidden rooms that are placed above many of the public libraries. Most of them are either closets or empty rooms these days.

But some of them are available to the public, like those belonging to the $4.4 million renovation project of the apartment in the Washington Heights branch. It was transformed from an old, dusty 3,750 square-foot space into a dedicated teen area and tech center that also features rooms for adult education programs. Cool!


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