For more than two decades it has been one of the best kept secrets in Germany: The vault of Germany's Central Bank.
Hidden in the slopes of the Moselle-hillsides, nobody suspected that currency worth billions
was stored in the middle of a quiet residential area in Cochem-Cond.
During the Cold War 15 billion German Mark was kept in this vault.
Perfectly disguised by two inconspicuous houses, none of the locals knew that replacement funds were stored here only 30 metres underground. Residents were well aware that there was a bunker; however they did not know its purpose nor its giant size.
Descend into the secret vault
Descend into the secret vault
Open the heavy steel doors and enter the seemingly never ending corridor. Hear all about the secret replacement currency that was stored here during the Cold War.
Learn what measures would have been needed to be taken in order to substitute Germany’s entire monetary unit.
Find out how employees could have survived in the bunker for 14 days in the case of an emergency.
Catch a glimpse of the bunkers provisions, and wander through the former offices, kitchen and communication quarters. Understand the bunker’s intricate air-, electricity- and water system.
Get to know the feeling of being deep underground, somewhere in the middle of Germany … and experience that special bunker feeling for yourself.
Underground vault in Cochem
Cochem, 1962. Germany's Central Bank starts building a fall-out shelter right in the middle of the serene residential area Cochem-Cond. Little did people know that this underground construction should hold billions of German Mark for decades to come…
In 1965 the first money bags arrive in Cochem. The training and recreation centre of the German Central Bank served as the perfect front for this operation. Nobody suspected that underground billions of German Mark were safely stored – protected against theft, natural disaster and the subsequent effects of war.
Visit our museum to learn more about one of Germany’s best kept secrets, this unique construction in Cochem.
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Bags filled with German Mark
To open the vault three different keys and the lock combination had to be brought over from officials in Frankfurt. Twice a year employees from the German Central Bank travelled to Cochem to count the money; the result was then noted on a control slip. On 14 May 1987, the employee noted “870 bags, each 20,000 DM equals 336,000,000 DM”. And this is only the result of the first compartment…
The German government senses an immanent threat behind the Iron Curtain. One of the biggest fears is the systematic introduction of counterfeit money to weaken the German economy. The consequences
of this would be disastrous: A collapse of the entire national economy.
Fuelled by these fears, the German government orders the Central Bank
to print emergency notes. In case of an emergency, this currency could be used to replace the ‘old’ banknotes quickly. Cochem was chosen as the destined storage and distribution location.
To learn more about this secret Cold War bunker, visit the museum for further information.