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On the western edge of Black Forest, deep into the mountains where miners once quarried for silver, lies Germany’s cultural heritage. It’s housed inside an old tunnel driven into the rocks for nearly 700 meters whose entrance is now barred by a heavy steel door. Behind this door are hundreds of stainless steel barrels stacked waist-high. Inside these hermetically sealed barrels are copies of the country's most important cultural documents and images etched in microfilm. Safely buried under 400 meters of granite and gneiss, these canisters and the precious film they contain are expected to survive for at least 500 years through any natural disaster and nuclear attack.

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The entrance to the Barbarastollen underground archive. Photo credit: Jörgens.mi/Wikimedia

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