The Villa Rose was a Swiss fort hidden behind the facade of a cute pink house.

The Villa Rose Was a Heavily Armed Swiss Fort That Looked Like a Pink Suburban Home

The Villa Rose Was a Heavily Armed Swiss Fort That Looked Like a Pink Suburban Home

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
June 12 2015 12:30 PM

Switzerland’s Secret Pink Fort

Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world’s hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook and Tumblr, or follow us on Twitter.

Located on the Toblerone defensive line in Switzerland, a long trail of anti-tank defenses that consisted of 12 fortresses linked by miles of cement wedges known as "dragon's teeth," the Villa Rose is one of fortresses that were built to defend the country from invasion during World War II. You could be forgiven for not knowing that, since, from the outside, the Villa Rose appears to be a garish pink suburban home.

This hidden stronghold was built in 1940 as part of the larger defensive line incrporating miles of cement dragon's teeth, running near 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 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.

More wonders to explore:

Eric Grundhauser is a head writer and editor at Atlas Obscura. He lives in Brooklyn with his comic book collection. Follow him on Twitter.