Saint-Gotthard: Ideal for high-security vaults

Why store precious metals and other valuables in bank-independent facilities in the Gotthard area? What distinguishes Switzerland as a storage location? And what role does William Tell play in all this?

“But when your course of action is resolved, then call on Tell; you shall not find him fail!” This famous exclamation comes from the drama ‘William Tell’ (1802-1804 Act 1, Scene 3) by Friedrich von Schiller. It is dedicated to the legendary Swiss freedom fighter, who, according to folklore, played a major role in the outcome of the Morgarten battle in 1315. It was part of the conflict – between the Confederates and the imperialist Habsburg dynasty – when the Swiss cantons of Uri, Unterwalden and Schwyz fought for their independence. It ended in 1511 when the final ousting of the Habsburg dynasty from Switzerland came about. The protective mountain ranges of the Alps played a crucial role in this. This protection is an advantage that is still in existence to this very day. It has had a significant impact on the choice of location for the private warehouse company Swiss Gold Safe Ltd.

The imposing natural barrier that surrounds Central Switzerland proved itself not only in the Middle Ages. Between 1937 and 1941, the Swiss system of military defences known as ‘Réduit’ emerged in the Alps. The Saint-Gotthard Massif was at its very heart. The fortress retreat, with its military bunkers, became the epitome of Swiss resistance to the German Third Reich in the Second World War. The inhabitants of the cantons would also go on to be protected by the Alps during a potential Soviet attack on the country’s northern border over the course of the subsequent Cold War.

The bunkers that still exist in the Gotthard region today have lost none of their impregnable protective function. Among other things, they serve as a storage facility for valuable items. Three of the total number of six Swiss Gold Safe storage vaults are located there – experts refer to these as the Gotthard-Vaults. They can only be reached from the north via the Axenstrasse and the Seelisberg tunnel, which provides additional security. The Gotthard Pass connects the areas that are to the north and the south of the Alps. It is subject to the full control of the Swiss authorities.

What Is Special About the Gotthard Region?

Mountains are considered to be a symbol of the connection between heaven and earth all around the world. Their often majestic and snow-capped peaks rise to dizzying heights. There were terrifying myths and legends surrounding these gigantic rocky outcrops which only lost their horror when the peaks of the massifs were first scaled by people in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Swiss Alps were created about 25 million years ago by the coming together of two continents – Africa and Europe. As a result, masses of rock piled up onto one another. The movement of these continental plates can be traced to this day simply by viewing the existing exposed sedimentary rock. Where the surface of the plates cracked, so volcanoes formed. These produced the granite rock that can be found all over the Alps. It is considered to be the very embodiment of hardness. Little wonder then that the Saint-Gotthard Massif itself, with its elevations of up to 3,200 metres, offers such a high degree of both protection and security.

The rugged nature of the Swiss Alps posed great challenges to the inhabitants of the region right from the start. In order to survive, the cantons united to form a confederation. This resulted in a lasting cohesion – a basis of mutual understanding – while respecting and protecting property from the desires of outsiders. Nothing has changed to this day. Long-standing values such as trust, reliability and discretion characterise the Gotthard area and the people who live there. The bank-independent location – which is far away from the large urban areas and the main financial centres of Zurich and Geneva, for example – corresponds to this cohesive understanding of values.

Altdorf and the Apple Shot by William Tell

The William Tell monument in Altdorf
The William Tell monument in Altdorf
© Hans und Christa Ede -

For these reasons, Swiss Gold Safe Ltd chose the canton of Uri as its headquarters in 2006. This means that the private warehouse company belongs to the original part of Switzerland because Uri is one of the founding cantons of the country. The main town of Altdorf and the company’s headquarters are nestled between Lake Uri and the mountains of the Uri Alps. According to Schiller’s play, Altdorf is the setting for William Tell’s famous apple shot. Since 1895, the Tell Monument, a bronze statue depicting the Swiss national hero and his son, has been on display in the town hall square.

Swiss Gold Safe maintains private high-security vaults in Altdorf, in neighbouring Amsteg, and at another secret location. These state-of-the-art facilities offer bank-independent storage of precious metals such as gold and silver, jewellery, works of art, cash, important documents, crypto currencies, digital media and much more. Swiss and European customers have access to safe deposit boxes, vaults or warehouse facilities at their disposal for individual storage.


For investors who want to protect their physical valuables and store them independently of banks, the Gotthard area – with its natural fortifications – is a safe place in every respect. At our Gotthard-Vaults, investors can opt to use either safe deposit boxes or segregated storage. Indeed, customers can rely on discretion, reliability and the safeguarding of property without any restrictions. These values are firmly anchored in the long history of Switzerland as well as its current traditions. Valuables and important documents are stored in the privately managed Swiss Gold Safe storage facilities according to the latest security standards.

All the while, the legendary figure of William Tell watches over everything as a symbol of freedom and independence.

The advantages of the Gotthard region at a glance:

Panorama of the Gotthard high mountain pass with St. Gotthard Hospice viewed from the east
Panorama of the Gotthard high mountain pass.
© juhumbert -