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DC 360: Secret tunnel under the Smithsonian

DC 360: Tunnel under the Smithsonian

A 700-foot tunnel runs under the National Mall from the Smithsonian Castle to the Natural History Museum.

Since the tunnel is not open to the public most people are unaware of its existence.

ABC7 had a chance to view a portion of the tunnel during a private tour. Scroll through the following 360 camera view of the Smithsonian Castle’s entrance to the tunnel.

Click here to view in app.

The tunnel was “designed to bring steam ducts from the boiler in the Smithsonian Castle to the museum and in winter the snow melts on the National Mall following the tunnel’s path,” according to a Smithsonian representative.

In more recent times, the tunnel has been featured in a fictional book – one of the only to be centered around the Smithsonian. The Lost Order, written by Steve Berry and released this month, focuses on a hunt for the Knights of the Golden Circle’s hidden treasure that has been searched for since 1865.

To raise money for the Smithsonian Libraries, one of the elements of importance in Berry’s book, he hosted a behind-the-scenes tour of the Smithsonian Castle on Tuesday evening as a fundraiser, with the help of the Castle curator Richard Stamm -- who is also a character in Lost Order.

Fifty tickets were for sale for $1,000 each with an end goal of raising $50,000 for the libraries.

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