With the world so easily connected today, it’s hard to imagine places that people cannot visit. From islands full of dangerous snakes to guarded religious structures and protected areas, here are some forbidden places that you will most likely never see in your life

In a world with so much to discover, it’s intriguing to consider those places that are off-limits.

So, here are 11 such forbidden places from around the world

1. The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Considered one of the holiest sites in the world, the Temple Mount is sacred to both Jews and Muslims, however, the even more holy gold-topped Islamic shrine of the Dome of the Rock is not open to non-Muslims.

2. Poveglia, Italy

Located between Venice and Lido, this small island was once well populated. But in the 14th century it became a quarantine colony for victims of the Bubonic Plague, and in the 19th century, it was used as an asylum. Today, it is abandoned and possibly haunted, and people are banned from setting foot on the island.

3. Ise Grand Shrine, Japan

Only the Japanese imperial family can access this ancient shrine, which is rebuilt every 20 years to represent the Shinto tradition of the death and renewal of nature.

4. Area 51, United States of America

A hidden military base in the Nevada Desert has been kept under wraps for decades, making it a treasure trove for conspiracy theorists. The grounds are protected by mines and other defences.

5. Snake Island, Brazil

About 93 miles off the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil lies the Ilha da Queimada Granda, known as Snake Island. It is full of golden lancehead vipers, whose poison literally disintegrates flesh.

6. North Sentinel Island, India

A small island in the Andamans, the natives have kept to themselves for over 60,000 years and refuse communication with outsiders. The Sentinelese are protected by the Indian government who prevent anthropologists and tourists from entering. The Sentinelese further defend themselves by firing arrows at anybody who tries to access the island.

7. Lascaux Caves, France

Home to a series of stunning Paleolithic paintings said to be over 20,000 years old. Vivid depictions of stags, cattle, bison, cats, and bulls cover the walls. Unfortunately, the caves have been off limits since the 1960s as they also have harmful fungi and black mold. The good news, however, is that there is a replica right next door.

8. Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican City

The archives within the vaults of the Vatican have long been a source of mystery. Only a few highly qualified scholars have ever been allowed inside and under strict supervision.

9. Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Norway

A vast subterranean seed bank is hidden deep inside a mountain in the Svalbard Archipelago near the North Pole. It houses samples of plant seeds that may be needed in case of a major regional or global crisis and is protected by advanced security systems. Access is limited to only a handful of employees.

10. Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, China 

Located in the Xian Province, the tomb of Qin Shi Huang is still tightly sealed. While thousands of unique terracotta warriors guarding it can be seen, it is said that the tomb itself is booby-trapped to protect it from invaders.

11. Bank of England Vaults, UK

Estimated to hold almost one-fifth of the world’s gold, over 5,000 tons, only those with the highest authorization are allowed to enter the vaults, much like the American Fort Knox.

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