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10 Historic Cold War Attractions

28th November 2015

This year marks a quarter century since George Bush declared the end of the Cold War, one of the world's most infamous battles.

No one wants to see a repeat, but there are plenty of places to visit if you want to witness some of the remnants. We list our 10 favourite below.

1. Kelvedon Hatch

 Image: Alamy

During the Cold War, Kelvedon Hatch in Essex, fronted by an innocuous bungalow, would have provided shelter for the great and the good when the ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) started flying.

An amusing sign labelled "Secret Nuclear Bunker" now makes its location known. The subterranean bunker lies up to 38 metres below the surface, and has room for around 600 people behind its blast-proof doors.

2. Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site

 Image: Alamy

Want to know what it was like to have your finger on the button? Head to this launch facility in North Dakota, now a State Historic Site.

You'll get a guided tour of the above-ground facilities and then be able to step behind the concrete blast door to see the equipment that would have been used to launch those nukes.

3. Bunker 42

 Image: Alamy

Moscow's Tagansky Protected Command Point, or to use its catchier name, Bunker 42, was built in the early 1950s to protect Soviet bigwigs in the event of nuclear Armageddon, and up to 3,000 could live there for 90 days.

It is now a museum and even claims to host weddings. What better way to begin your own lifelong Cold War?

4. USS Albacore

 Image: Alamy

We wouldn't think to name a war machine after a type of tuna, but this submarine was once the most high-tech in the US Navy and a research centre during the Cold War arms race.

It now sits in Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire, and is open to the public. Audio stations explain its features and visitors can listen to recordings of the crew talking about life on board.

5. Drakelow Tunnels

 Image: Alamy

Another Cold War hideout, the Drakelow Tunnels are found beneath Kingsford Country Park, near Kidderminster. They extend for more than 5.5 kilometres and once contained dormitories, storage areas, workshops, electrical equipment, toilets, offices, and even a BBC studio.

The site was decommissioned and sold in the 90s. It can sometimes be toured on open days, but various groups have sought to secure its future as a permanent visitor attraction.


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6. Glienicker Bridge

 Image: AP/Fotolia

Berlin, Germany, is packed with Cold War attractions, from Checkpoint Charlie to the remnants of the Wall, as well as a Spy Museum. But our correspondent advises a trip to the outlying district of Potsdam, where you'll find the Glienicker Bridge, across which the superpowers traded captured agents.

A stone's throw from the bridge is Cecelienhof, an English Tudor-style mansion that in August 1945 found itself catapulted into the limelight as the setting for the post-war Potsdam Conference involving Stalin, Truman and Churchill (and later Attlee).

7. Memento Park

 Image: AP/Fotolia

Budapest's Memento Park, on the outskirts of the city, features dozens of statues from the country's communist past.

Designed by the architect Akos Eleod, it opened in 1993, four years after the fall of communism in Hungary. It helps ensure that the recent past is not forgotten, but is also a reminder of just how awful most Socialist Realist art was.

8. The Greenbrier

 Image: Alamy

In the 1950s the US government built an underground facility beneath the Greenbrier, a resort hotel in West Virginia, to house Congress in the event of a nuclear war.

The bunker was kept stocked for 30 years, but never used, even at the height of the Cold War during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It can now be toured by visitors to the hotel.

9. Titan Missile Museum

 Image: Alamy

Another US missile launch site, this time in Arizona, the Titan Missile Museum features 2.5-metre-thick walls, three-ton blast doors and lets visitors see the cabinet where the launch keys were locked and stand underneath the missile.

10. The Korean DMZ

 Image: Hugo Sharp

The final frontier of the Cold War can be visited from both North and South Korea. The Joint Security Area is the only portion of the DMZ where forces from both sides stand face-to-face.

Hugo Sharp, who visited and wrote about his experience, explains: "Tourists visiting from either side take turns to inspect the inside of the Joint Security Area huts. The northern contingent must vacate before a southern contingent can enter. A cycle that carries on for most of the day."


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This article was from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.