Carved into a hill, the Santa Claus theme park in Rovaniemi (Lapland) is ready to revert to its original function: an emergency bomb shelter that could house 3,600 people, equipped to withstand bombings or a chemical or nuclear attack. A separate well provides water, and it has camping beds, first aid kits, food, fuel, drugs and even equipment to dig a tunnel back to the surface, in case the construction collapses. Some toys from the gift shop would be kept for the comfort of children seeking safety there. The ‘Santa shelter’ is one of the about 50,000 built after Finland experienced two wars with the Soviet Union during World War II: this vast network houses swimming pools, sports centres or parking garages during peacetime, but they can be converted into emergency housing for some 80% of its 5.5 million population within hours. In case of a nuclear plant disaster in Russia, or should military action spill over the 1,300-km Finland-Russia border, Santa and his elves are definitely ready! Read more on