Villa Rose | Gland, Switzerland - Atlas Obscura

Villa Rose

This secret Swiss fortress is disguised as a harmless pink house, complete with fake windows. 


Located on the Toblerone defensive line in Switzerland, the Villa Rose is one of twelve fortresses that were built to defend the country from invasion during World War II. Although you could be forgiven for not knowing that since it appears to be a garish pink suburban home from the outside.

This hidden stronghold was built in 1940 as part of a larger defensive line that is usually defined more by the miles of cement dragon’s teeth connecting 12 fortresses including the Villa Rose. The fortification itself looks like a harmless two-story home but instead of a nuclear family lounging inside, the false house held massive guns. The large green garage door could open to reveal two huge cannons which were assisted by a third hidden behind the shutters of a ground floor window. 

The whole thing was made of thick cement walls which were painted pink, apparently in an effort to make the fort seem even more harmless. There are even false windows on the second floor that are simply painted on the concrete. 

The Villa Rose had a companion fortress along the Toblerone Line known as the Villa Vert which was a similarly disguised battlement that was painted green. Both of the villas were just a couple of examples of “false chalets” built all around Switzerland during the war. Villa Rose is the best maintained example of these secret forts and is now open as a museum. 

Know Before You Go

You can reach the pink villa easily by foot from the station, it's about 20 minute walk. 

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