Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

  • Multi-million-dollar homes for the 1 percent are hardly eyebrow-raising.
  • They are, however, when they extend stories beneath the earth's surface. 
  • Here are 50 photos that show how obsessed the wealthy are with subterranean homes.


For the wealthy, owning a luxury home is no rare feat. 

But even for the some of the world's wealthiest individuals, underground luxury mansions are an extravagant expense.

But, whether these mansions have been fashioned out of a desire for pure opulence, a lack of space, or paranoia (yes, luxury bomb shelters are a thing), for some, they are a must. These photos show just how obsessed the super rich are with underground mansions.

Check it out:

At the St Moritz ski resort in Switzerland sits a lavish, seven-storey home, dubbed The Lonsdaleite, or The Ice Palace.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo
Source: Business Insider, Vimeo, and Vimeo

It was listed on the market for $185 million (R2.7 billion) last fall. Realtor Senada Adzem told CNBC that the home was "designed to make a billionaire's jaw drop."

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: Business Insider and CNBC

The home's great room is covered in 10 metre floor-to-ceiling windows on one wall...

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: CNBC

...and mink fur on the other wall.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: CNBC

There's also a library with red velvet furnishings.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: Business Insider

An egg-themed breakfast nook is on the main level as well.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: CNBC

Its walls are decked out in 24 karat gold...

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: CNBC

...and a $145,000 egg-shaped sculpture hangs from the ceiling.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: CNBC

You might think this is your average luxury castle built for the everyday billionaire — that is, until you head downstairs...

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: Business Insider

...which is where the real extravagance begins. The underground amenities include a home theatre bedecked in red...

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: CNBC

...as well as a wine cellar.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: Business Insider

And perhaps the home's most stunning feature is the underground lake.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: Business Insider

Owners and guests can go for a swim in Swarovski crystal-lit waters.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: Business Insider

Guests can admire Venetian artwork on the ceiling as they swim.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: CNBC

Another prised gem of the house is the private ski den.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: CNBC

Owners can ski in and out of a private lift to access the powdery slopes of the Swiss Alps.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: CNBC

Back inside, a home spa awaits after a long day of skiing.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: CNBC

Owners can also take it easy in a lounge...

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Source: CNBC

...or in the Himalayan salt room.

CNBC/YouTube

Source: CNBC

An inviting Turkish bath also awaits...

CNBC/YouTube

Source: CNBC

...as does a high-tech shower equipped with controls that can change the lighting and colour schemes.

CNBC/YouTube

Source: CNBC

There are other underground homes that match this Swiss castle's opulence.

Senada Adzem/Vimeo

Like one in Rolling Hills, California, for instance.

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

This colossal, luxury, 7.4-acre (almost 30,000 square metres) Spanish Hacienda took 17 years to construct, and five of its six stories are underground.

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz and Forbes


The home is the brainchild of John Z. Blazevich, CEO of Viva Food Group, who circumvented zoning codes prohibiting home expansion by building down into the ground.

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Forbes

The infamous underground mansion, dubbed Hacienda de la Paz, spans 51,000 square feet (over 4,300m² and sports nine bedrooms, 25 bathrooms, and a six-car garage.

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

One of the estate's two tennis courts is on one of the five underground levels.

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

When owners aren't using it for a court, it doubles as a ballroom that can accommodate 350 dinner guests and a dance floor.

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

A Hamam, a traditional Moorish-style bath spa, also sits underground and is one of the site's two pools. The interior is hand-crafted from imported marble and sandstone, and 24-karat gold Venetian tiles line the space.

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

Skipping around the estate is a breeze — elevators take owners from floor to floor...

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

...like to the wine cellar, for example...

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

...or back into the open air, where the estate's extravagance is just as unparalleled. An outdoor clay court is lined with comfy seating for spectators.

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

And why not throw another pool into the mix?

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Hacienda de la Paz

While Hacienda de la Paz was born out of a desire for luxurious living quarters...

Steve Brown/Sepia Productions Inc.

Source: Forbes

...other underground homes were fashioned out of the paranoia of their owners.

Google Street View

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

Entrepreneur Jerry Henderson and his wife, Mary, built "The Underground House" in 1978 in the midst of the Cold War as a luxury hideaway bomb shelter.

The BEST in US/YouTube

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

The property sits 26 feet (almost 8 metres) below the surface with two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a six-foot-deep pool, putting green, and a spa.

The BEST in US/YouTube

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

And though it's protected from the elements above, owners are still afforded sweeping landscape views, thanks to full-sized murals that line the walls.

The BEST in US/YouTube

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

The Hendersons passed away in the 1980s, leading to the property's eventual foreclosure, before its current owner swept it up and spent more than $1 million (about R15 million) renovating it.

The BEST in US/YouTube

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

The Hendersons paid around $10 million in constructing the home in the late 1970s. That's about $40 million (R600 million) in today's money.

The BEST in US/YouTube

Source: The BEST in US

For a long time the property remained a bit of a mystery to its neighbours. But the owner recently opened it to the public during a gala.

The BEST in US/YouTube

Source: Las Vegas Review Journal

On the other side of the country sits another luxurious subsurface bomb shelter in Kansas as part of a project dubbed Survival Condo.

Courtesy of Survival Condo Project

Source: Business Insider

The $20 million property spans 15 floors underground and is housed inside an old missile silo. The silo, like Las Vegas' Underground House, was built in the midst of the Cold War.

Courtesy of Survival Condo Project

Source: Business Insider

The project offers up 12 single-family homes to homeowners wishing for a surefire way of preparing for potential catastrophic events.

Courtesy of Survival Condo Project

Source: Business Insider

A full-floor unit spans 1,820 square feet (169m²) and can fit six to 10 people. Buyers shell out $3 million for one, which includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and a great room.

Courtesy of Survival Condo Project

Source: Business Insider

In place of a natural views, the windows are outfitted with screens that show live footage of the landscape outside.

Courtesy of Survival Condo Project

Source: Business Insider

More lavish amenities are also included, like a home theatre...

Courtesy of Survival Condo Project

Source: Business Insider

...a 75-foot-long (22-metres-long) swimming pool with a water slide...

Courtesy of Survival Condo Project

Source: Business Insider

...and a gym.

Courtesy of Survival Condo Project

Source: Business Insider

And if staying fit with gym equipment isn't your forte, there's also a rock climbing wall.

Courtesy of Survival Condo Project

Source: Business Insider

Family pets are also invited — there's a park in the compound for dog walks.

Courtesy of Survival Condo Project

Source: Business Insider

Not bad for a doomsday shelter.

When building up just isn't possible — and 'no' isn't in your vocabulary — building down is an (expensive) option for the super rich.
Courtesy of Survival Condo Project

Source: Business Insider

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