Greatest Places Forbidden for Tourists
These places are safely nestled away from prying eyes only because tourist can endanger their existence and may destroy their original look. If you are already intrigued, keep reading, and remember – no matter how appealing and interesting these places are, unfortunately you can’t see them (unless if you are able to sneak in and pass by the security).
1 Lascaux Caves, France
The Lascaux Caves are known as the home of some of the best well-known Upper Paleolithic Art. The cave is situated near the village of Montignac in Dordogne. The paintings are approximately 17,300 years old according to estimation. They are largely paintings of animals that were said to have lived in the region during that time (based on fossils collected in the area). Lascaux was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979 along with other historical sites in the surrounding area of the Vezere Valley.
Lascaux has been closed to the public since 1963 because the carbon dioxide produced by visitors were damaging the paintings. Currently, however, they are dealing with the problem of fungus which could be attributed to the air conditioning system, the high-powered lighting or the presence of still too many visitors. Therefore, at the moment, only one person is allowed inside, to check the conditions, every week for 20 minutes.
2 Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican City
The Vatican’s Secret Archives, in the Vatican city, is located near the Vatican Library. They comprise of various documentations of the church and many more stores of knowledge pertaining to the church. Pope Paul V in the 17th century divided the Vatican Library from the Archives keeping it closed to outsiders, save for limited access to scholars, untill the 18th Century when they were opened to researchers by Pope Lepo XIII. The ownership of the archives is in the hands of the pope and remains so untill the next one is appointed. They’re not exactly secret archives but more belong to the pope and special permission in the form of an application needs to be handed in to be able to access them. The archives have 84 km of shelving in only the selective category and the indexes must be checked in the Index Room and restored to their original place after use. Publication of the archives in any form is prohibited.
3 Niihau, Hawaii
Niihau is the 7th largest inhabited island of Hawaii. The place was bought by a Scottish homemaker in 1864 from the Kingdom of Hawaii and was passed on to her heirs. This island has no paved roads or stores, restaurants, electricity and indoor plumbing but has the only entirely solar-powered school in the country. The island was shut off to public to conserve the native wildlife and culture. Even local inhabitants or natives need special permission for their relatives to visit. The island actually has the nickname “The Forbidden Isle”.
4 Pine Gap, Australia
Pine Gap is a satellite tracking station managed by the governments of both Australia and the United States. The place has about 800 employees and is located in Central Australia, southwest of Alice Springs. The location is key due to the fact that it controls America’s spy satellites that go over areas like Russia, China and the Middle-Eastern Oil Fields. The destination was meant as a strategic move to avoid detection(interception of signals) by spy ships passing. So James Bond like, don’t you think?
5 Ise Grand Shrine, Japan
A Shinto shrine dedicated to goddess Amaterasu-ōmikami, the Ise Grand Shrine, comprises of two main shrines and close to 125 more. The site is only accessible to the priest or priestess who is chosen from the Japanese Imperial family. An interesting part about the place is that every 20 years the two main buildings – Naiku (Inner Shrine) and Geku (Outer Shrine) – in the Ise Jingu Shrine are rebuilt as a practice of passing on age-old building ways from one generation to another. Another reason for this practice is the Shinto belief of the shortness of life and the revival that happens in death. The blueprints that are used to rebuild the place are almost 1,000 years old.