A Guide To The Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces Of The World

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Where do spies meet when they plan their secret missions? Often, they gather in buildings that look like giant fortresses that are anything but covert. Here are some of the most incredible spy palaces from around the world. At least — these are the ones we know about.

The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is one of the three main UK Intelligence Agencies. It provides signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information assurance to the government and army. "The Doughnut" is located in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: GCHQ/Crown/Ministry of Defence


This is the gate of the building housing the British Security Service, MI5. The more than hundred years old domestic counter-intelligence and security agency is located in central London.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP


The MI6 building on the bank of the River Thames, in London. The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), aka MI6 (Military Intelligence, Section 6) is the British intelligence agency which supplies the government with foreign intelligence.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: Jeremy O'Donnell/Getty Images


The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the main intelligence-gathering agency of the United States. The New Headquarters Building (NHB) of the George Bush Center for Intelligence is in Langley, Virginia.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: CIA

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

The CIA's Original Headquarters Building.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: CIA


The National Security Agency (NSA), a United States intelligence agency which monitors, collects, decodes, translates and analyses global information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes. NSA headquarters building is in Fort Meade.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: NSA


The Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) collects foreign intelligence, undertakes counter-intelligence activities for the government. The R.G. Casey Building, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade houses the ASIS headquarters.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: Google Street View


The headquarters of the Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan in Baku.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: MNS


In the foreground: Canada's top-secret billion-dollar spy palace, the new headquarters complex of the government's national cryptologic agency, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). In the background: the building of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Canada's primary national intelligence service.

Photo: Poppa Tango


The General Directorate for External Security (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure, DGSE) HQ in Paris. France's external intelligence agency provides intelligence and national security, by performing paramilitary and counterintelligence operations.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: Google Street View


The Security Information Service (SIS) (Bezpečnostní informační služba, BIS), is the primary domestic national intelligence agency of the Czech Republic.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: Google Street View


The new building of the Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst, BND), the foreign intelligence agency of Germany, in Berlin. Below are the radomes that contain radar antennas at an operating facility of BND, near Bad Aibling, Germany.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: Johannes Simon/Getty Images


The headquarters of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the chief intelligence agency of South Korea.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: JTBC News

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: Google Earth


The office building of the General Intelligence and Security Service (Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst, AIVD), the secret service of the Netherlands, in Zoetermeer.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: S.J. de Waard/Wikimedia Commons


Lubyanka Square, Moscow: the main building of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) (Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации, ФСБ), the principal security agency of the Russian Federation, the main successor agency to the USSR's Committee of State Security (KGB).

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: Pavel Golovkin/AP


The building of the Constitution Protection Office (Alkotmányvédelmi Hivatal, AH), the Hungarian internal security intelligence agency, Budapest.

A Guide to the Not-So-Secret Spy Palaces of The World

Photo: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo

Top shot: CIA Headquarters Auditorium (CIA)

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