Most secure places in the world ranked: top 25 list (with images)

Most secure places in the world ranked: top 25 list (with images)

The most secure places in the world cannot be accessed without proper authorization. They hold precious and highly classified items that are safely guarded by heavily armed officers, bomb-proof shelters, surveillance cameras, microphones, and sensors. Intruders risk jail time, and sometimes deadly force can be used.

Most secure places in the world
A collage of Cheyenne Mountain Complex and Iron Mountain, some of the world's most secure structures. Photo: Bloomberg, Mark Leffingwell on GettyImages (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Gold reserves, military intelligence, and classified government documents are some of the most heavily guarded items. It is not easy to break into such places, and money cannot buy you access.

Top 25 most secure places in the world

What is the most secure place in the world? These are the top 25 world's most protected locations;

25. Bold Lane Derby Car Park - Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom

World's most secure locations
Parksafe on Bold Lane in Derbyshire has the most secure car parking system in the world. Photo: @MosesBabelduo, @ConspiracyZW on Twitter (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Bold Lane Derby is considered to be the world's most secure multi-storey car park. The facility operates 24/7 and has 315 parking slots fitted with barcodes and sensors. Intense high-tech security features were designed in the 1990s to address increasing crime cases.

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A driver gets a unique barcode once the car is parked, and a movement sensor under the vehicle goes off if the car moves without authorization, locking down the area. The facility is also fitted with 200 surveillance cameras and panic buttons.

24. Lascaux Caves - Montignac, France

World's most protected areas
Lascaux Caves have been closed to the public since 1963 to preserve pre-historic paintings. Photo: Thipjang
Source: Getty Images

The Lascaux Caves in southwestern France are a system of complex caves containing over 600 Paleolithic paintings covering the walls and ceilings. The art is estimated to be 17,300 years old and consists of large animals that lived in the area. The Lascaux Caves are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and were closed to the public in 1963 for preservation purposes. Several replicas of the Stone Age paintings have been designed for people to visit.

23. The Greenbrier - Greenbrier County, West Virginia, United States

Most secure locations
The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia has a massive bomb-proof underground bunker. Photo: Walter Bibikow
Source: Getty Images

The Greenbrier is a luxury resort covering about 4,500 hectares in the forests of West Virginia. The resort has a massive underground bunker that was built to serve as an emergency bomb shelter for the United States Congress during the Cold War. The shelter, whose code name was Project Greek Island, ceased to be used in 1992 after being exposed by The Washington Post and is now used as a data storage facility by CSX IP.

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22. The Bohemian Grove - Monte Rio, California, United States

World's most secure places
Rare sighting inside the restricted all-male membership Bohemian Grove in California. Photo: @TheRoyalRant on Twitter (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Bohemian Grove is a restricted all-male membership campground covering an area of 1,100 hectares. The place is off-limits to the public and only hosts some of the most prominent and powerful men in the world, including presidents, government officials, business leaders, and senior media executives. Every summer in mid-July, the heavily guarded club hosts a two-week camp.

21. Svalbard Global Seed Vault - Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen, Norway

Most protected places in the world
Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway provides long-term storage of seeds from around the world. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand
Source: Getty Images

The Doomsday Seed Vault is a secure facility in the Arctic designed to store a wide variety of the world's crop diversity. It acts as the ultimate insurance for the world's food supply and ensures population never runs out of food in the event of natural disasters, disease, sabotage, or war. The seed vault currently has over 1.1 million seed samples conserved in genebanks. To ensure its safety, the vault is in an isolated area and is guarded with motion sensors, reinforced concrete walls, and airlocks.

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20. Iron Mountain Inc - Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Protected locations in the world
Iron Mountain Inc is an underground data centre used by Fortune 1000 companies, influential people, and the US federal government. Photo: Bloomberg
Source: Getty Images

Iron Mountain Inc is an enterprise information management services company. The backup and recovery data centre has several underground storage facilities around the United States, but its well-known facility is located in a former limestone mine at Boyers, Pennsylvania. It has heavily guarded climate-controlled sections.

The company stores the wills of Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, and Princes Diana. It is also here that Bill Gates stores his Corbis photographic collection, Universal Music Group stores its US masters, and the US Office of Personnel Management leases its storage space. Over 94% of Fortune 1000 companies utilize Iron Mountain's storage and information management services.

19. Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) - Adelaide, Australia

Protected areas
A view of the Woomera Range Complex in South Australia. Photo: Morgan Sette
Source: Getty Images

The Woomera Range Complex in South Australia is a military and civil aerospace facility used for testing war material and is controlled by the Royal Australian Air Force. The prohibited area covers an area of 122,188 km². Non-defence users must have access permits, and the airspace above the area is restricted by the RAAF for security and safety purposes.

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18. Korean Demilitarized Zone

Protected locations
The South and North Korean military guard either side of the Korean DMZ. Photo: Marc Guitard
Source: Getty Images

The Korean DMZ is a 250 km long and 4 km wide piece of land that divides the Korean Peninsula into nearly two halves. The border is surrounded by high defence from North Korea and South Korea. It is dangerous for anyone to cross the DMZ, and there have been several military and civilian casualties from both countries.

17. Air Force One - United States

Most secure places in the world
Air Force One is one of the most secure moving locations globally. Photo: Anadolu Agency
Source: Getty Images

Air Force One is the most secure moving location in the world. The official United States presidential plane flies under strict security and is fitted with classified defence equipment and technology. The plane has radiation-proof windows and nuclear and thermal shielding. It also has advanced secure communication equipment that protects against electromagnetic pulses and cyber attacks.

16. HavenCo - Sealand

Secure locations
The Principality of Sealand, where HavenCo used to operate. Photo: Ben Stansall
Source: Getty Images

HavenCo was a secure data company that occupied Roughs Tower, a World War 2 defensive facility a few miles from southeast England. Despite being in the most secure and isolated locations, the data haven ceased operations in 2008 without explanation, and Sealand's hosting was relocated to a London data centre.

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15. Tower of London, Jewel House - London, England

Most protected place in the world
The Tower of London holds the Crown Jewels. Photo: Joe daniel price
Source: Getty Images

The Jewel House is a vault holding the British Crown Jewels. It is housed inside the Waterloo Block, which used to be barracks, inside the Tower of London. Queen Elizabeth II opened the vault in 1994 after several theft incidents at Westminster Abbey. The Crown Jewels are guarded by bombproof glass, over 100 hidden CCTV cameras and ex-military Yeomen Warders.

14. ADX Florence Prison - Florence, Colorado, United States

Protected places
ADX Florence Prison is a supermax facility housing high-profile criminals. Photo: Robert Daemmrich
Source: Getty Images

ADX Florence Prison, the Alcatraz of the Rockies, is classified as a supermax prison and is considered more secure than normal maximum prisons. It hosts the most dangerous and high-profile criminals, and the staff-inmate ratio is high. Inmates are confined in cells for 23 hours per day and are under 24/7 supervision by the prison control centre. The prison has several motion detectors, 1,400 remote-controlled steel doors and surveillance cameras. Its perimeter is surrounded by 12-foot razor-wire fences, pressure pads, and heavily armed guards.

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13. The White House - Washington, D.C, United States

World's most secure buildings
The White House is one of the most heavily guarded places in the world. Photo: Tetra Images
Source: Getty Images

The White House is one of the world's most secure buildings. It is the formal office and official residence of the sitting United States president. Visitors can tour parts of the White House Complex, and bookings are made at least 21 days prior to allow for thorough background checks.

The White House Complex was constructed at the centre of a 15-mile flight-restricted zone. Several surface-to-air missile launchers are located across the city to intercept any intruding aircraft. The Complex is also protected by the US Secret Service and the US Park Police. The building has roof-mounted radar, infrared cameras that can detect temperature variations, bulletproof windows, and several hidden security features.

12. The Swiss Gold Vaults - Switzerland

Secure locations
Swiss Gold Vaults are located in several secure locations across Switzerland. Photo: Gremlin
Source: Getty Images

Switzerland has one of the largest and most secure gold storage vaults in the world. The bomb-proof vaults are kept in secret locations across Switzerland, including the foothills of the Swiss Alps.

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11. RAF Menwith Hill - North Yorkshire, England

World's most protected areas
Radar domes at the RAF Menwith Hill. Photo: Christopher Furlong
Source: Getty Images

Royal Air Force Menwith Hill was established to offer intelligence and communication support to the United States and the United Kingdom. It is the world's largest electronic monitoring station with a huge satellite ground station, communication intercept, and missile warning features. The 245 hectares area is guarded by the UK's Ministry of Defense, and it is a criminal offence for anyone to trespass.

10. Bank of England Gold Vault - England

World's most protected buildings
UK's gold reserves are kept in a restricted underground storage facility below the Bank of England. Photo: TonyBaggett
Source: UGC

The Bank of England gold vaults hold approximately 400,000 bars of gold worth over £200 billion. The facility is the second largest custodian of the world's gold, behind the New York Federal Reserve. The majority of the gold belongs to central banks from across the world, and only 6% is held on behalf of the UK treasury.

Gold bars are stored underground below the Bank of England's offices on Threadneedle Street. The vault walls are bombproof and can only be accessed using voice recognition and 3-foot keys. The majority of the bank's security measures are unpublished.

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9. The Pentagon - Arlington County, Virginia

Heavily guarded places
An aerial view of the United States Pentagon. Photo: Jeremy Christensen
Source: Getty Images

The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. The five-sided office building complex is the world's largest office building covering about 150 acres. The facility is guarded by the Pentagon Force Protection Agency and is designed to withstand chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological attacks.

The thick blast-resistant windows saved thousands of lives during the 2001 9/11 attack, where 125 Pentagon staff died. A 250,000-square-foot Remote Delivery Facility is responsible for thorough security inspection before anything is allowed inside the Pentagon.

8. Federal Reserve Bank of New York - Manhattan, New York, United States

Secure locations in the world
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has a secure underground gold vault. Photo: Roy Rochlin
Source: Getty Images

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is the largest custodian of gold in the world, with about 497,000 gold bars. The underground vault on the basement floor of the bank's main office building in Manhattan rests on Manhattan Island's bedrock 80 feet below street level and 50 feet below sea level.

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The gold vault has one entrance that is secured by a 90-ton steel cylinder. The storage is surrounded by huge steel-reinforced concrete walls and motion sensors. The vault is further guarded by the New York Fed's security system and the Federal Reserve police force.

7. Cheyenne Mountain Complex - Colorado Springs, United States

Cheyenne Mountain Complex
Entrance to the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado Springs. Photo: Mark Leffingwell
Source: Getty Images

Cheyenne Mountain Complex is a secure underground bunker at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. The facility is operated by Air Force Space Command and does not allow public access. The complex is carved out of 2000 feet of granite and is built about 600 meters below the ground. It was designed to withstand seismic activities, electromagnetic pulse attacks, and nuclear blasts. It has three and a half feet thick 20-ton blast doors that close in 45 seconds.

6. Saddam Hussein's bunker - Baghdad, Iraq

Most protected areas in the world
Several US military attacks completely destroyed Saddam Hussein's palace, but the bunker below the palace remains intact. Photo: Gilles Bassignac
Source: Getty Images

Saddam Hussein's underground bunker was built by German engineers and completed in 1984. It covers an area of 1,800m² and has three-ton Swiss doors, a 60 feet high and 6-foot thick reinforced concrete ceiling, 5-foot thick walls and two escape tunnels. The facility was designed to withstand a nuclear bomb the size of Hiroshima and temperatures as high as 300 degrees Celcius.

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The former Iraq dictator could not be harmed as long he was within its walls. The building above was destroyed, but the bunker remains intact after several US military attacks, including about seven bunker-buster bombs and 20 cruise missiles.

5. The Granite Mountain Records Vault - Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Secure locations
View of Church LDS in Utah. The church built the Granite Mountain Records Vault in 1965. Photo: George Frey
Source: Getty Images

The Granite Mountain Records Vault was established in 1965 by the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS). It is located 700 feet under solid mountain stone and is used to preserve important church records, including a huge collection of family history microfilms.

The vault has three tunnels and four cross-tunnels lined with steel and concrete. It also has reinforced entrance doors that weigh up to 14 tons and can withstand nuclear blasts. The public cannot access the vault.

4. Vatican Secret Archives - Vatican City

World's most protected places
The main entrance to the Vatican Secret Archives. Photo: Franco Origlia
Source: Getty Images

The Vatican Secret Archives, now called the Vatican Apostolic Archives, is the central repository next to the Vatican Library within the Vatican. They are considered private property owned by the serving Pope until his death or resignation.

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The secrets contain important church documents that have been accumulated for several centuries. They also hold state documents, account books, and correspondence documents. Only distinguished and qualified scholars with extensive archival research knowledge can apply for an entry card.

3. Bahnhof Underground Data Center - Stokholm, Sweden

Most secure buildings in the world
Bahnhof Underground Data Center occupies a former underground military nuclear shelter in Sweden. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand
Source: Getty Images

The Bahnhof Underground Data Center occupies a former civil defence and nuclear shelter built about 100ft underground in the Pionen White Mountains Sodermalm in Stockholm. The facility's features were designed to resemble Hollywood science fiction.

The former nuclear bunker is located 30m below a granite mountain and has thick bomb-resistant doors designed to withstand hydrogen bomb explosions. It is one of the most connected areas in northern Europe with triple redundancy internet backbone access. The ISP centre has two German submarine engines for backup power

2. Area 51 - Las Vegas Desert, Nevada, United States

World's most protected areas
Guard gate at Area 51 in Nevada. Photo: Barry King
Source: Getty Images

Area 51 is a secret and highly classified United States Air Force base north of Las Vegas. The facility is a research and training area, but everything that goes on inside is labelled top secret and sensitive compartmented information. Area 51 is located next to the Nevada Test Site and the Nevada Test and Training Range.

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No one is allowed entry, and a sign outside reads; the use of deadly force is authorized. Motion detectors are placed several meters away from the facility to notify guards early about people coming. It is illegal to fly over Area 51 airspace.

1. Bullion Depository, Fort Knox - Kentucky, United States

World's most secure buildings
Over half of the United States gold reserve is stored at the Fort Knox Bullion Depository. Photo: Bettmann
Source: Getty Images

Is Fort Knox the most secure place on earth? United States Bullion Depository is a heavily guarded and fortified vault next to the Fort Knox US Army Post. It is protected by the United States Mint Police. The facility has high-resolution night vision cameras, microphones, and other unpublished security features. No visitors are allowed inside the underground vault.

Why is Fort Knox so heavily guarded? It holds more than half of the United States gold reserve and other precious items in the custody of the federal government. The gold vault lies below the 42 feet high fortress. It is built with steel plates, cylinders, and I-beams laced with hoop bands and encased in concrete. The vault and the main door are 21 inches thick, and the vault door is set on a 100-hour time clock.

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It is a mystery how some of the world's most secure places listed above look on the inside due to prohibited public access. Such places also avoid publishing all their security features to keep the locations safe.

READ ALSO: Top 30 most haunted places in the world you should never visit highlighted some of the world's most haunted places. These locations have a creepy history, and only fans of paranormal activities will find such places adventurous.

Haunted places have occasional ghosts and UFO sightings. Some locations have been around for centuries with a creepy history shrouded in mystery.

Source: Briefly News

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Alice Wabwile (Lifestyle writer) Alice Wabwile is a multifaceted content creator and Project Assistant at AfDAN, boasting over four years of experience. Holding a BCom degree from the University of Nairobi School of Business, she has cultivated a dynamic skill set through roles such as her tenure at Strathmore University's Data Science Department, where she contributed significantly to research. Recognized for her exceptional talent, she clinched the Writer of the Year Award. Beyond her professional endeavours, Alice is an engaged member of the Rotaract Club of Kabete. For inquiries, reach out to her at

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