For your information, not all prisons are colorless concrete boxes. In fact, located around the world from Denmark to England to India, there are actually high-security facilities that would feature stunning architecture and also interior design. Prisons are meant for criminals where they get to spend a considerable number of years of their lives behind the bars. Some countries believe prisons do not typically have to be such a place where its occupants would suffer.
There are prisons that, despite being legit prisons, are the exact opposite of what people usually described as a place that is gloomy and depressing. Many of the beautiful prisons are centuries-old, but some are more modern and feature sleek, simple designs. These are actually 7 of the most beautiful prisons that are located all over the world.
1) Alcatraz Prison
Alcatraz Island was a jail until 1963 and remains the most famous prison in the world, with San Francisco Bay serving as home. The jail is set on 22 acres of the 47-acre island, with mystery and romance being the themes of being sent into exile from the human world here, where stunning geographic views of water and sky may be comfort and relief from the idea that escape can come only through the justice system. Today, the jail operates as a National Park and offers daily tours as a sightseeing destination.
2) Sark Prison
Sark Prison on Sark Island in Guernsey is known as the world’s smallest prison and, made of stone and without windows, is still operating for jailbirds to be held overnight or for brief stays, say for a drunken disorderly arrest. Waking up inside the monument-like atmosphere must be damp and dark, as ventilation is not the name of the game for this tiny postage stamp-sized jail, surrounded by the vast sea. This juxtaposition of water, sky and the island atmosphere make this an unusual but stunning location for this quaint 1856-era jail.
3) Kresty Prison
Located in St. Petersburg, Russia, this jail, which houses 10,000 prisoners, is announced to be closed soon, made over into a hotel complex, with an upscale edge because of overcrowding, but its architecture is more reminiscent of the Medici palaces in Florence, Italy, than a jail. Gorgeously constructed, it seems almost fairy-tale-like from the outside. Inside, conditions are cramped, with the jail three times more occupied than it should be. Plans are to move the prisoners to a new St. Petersburg jail when construction is complete.
4) Halden Prison
Modernized and listed as the most humane prison on earth, Norway is home to Halden, a facility that also aims to be humane and interesting. Of the facility, Time Magazine writes, “To ease the psychological burdens of imprisonment, the planners at Halden spent roughly $1 million on paintings, photography and light installations. According to a prison informational pamphlet, this mural by Norwegian graffiti artist Dolk “brings a touch of humor to a rather controlled space”. Officials hope the art — along with creative outlets like drawing classes and wood workshops — will give inmates “a sense of being taken seriously”. The site continues that, “at Halden, rooms include en-suite bathrooms with ceramic tiles, mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs”. It is a high-security prison, however, despite the modern architecture, art, and television.
5) Chillon Castle
This castle in Switzerland, in the Lake Geneva area, has served many functions, with its dramatic face set against a stormy sky. Gorgeous architecturally, especially from a distance, this castle has served as a medieval fort, military enforcement station, and prison. It also has served as a private residence as well, serving summer needs and is set right amidst the Alps. This attraction even boasts a moat; a visit here is well worth it, but don’t forget the camera.
6) Château d’If
This stunning yet strange compound, with its silo-like buildings and historic value as it is cited as the setting for the writer, Alexandre Dumas’s, “The Count of Monte Cristo,” the only real way to visit or photograph this gem is via boat at the Vieux Port in Marseille, France. The island, itself, is named If, and the compound offers a striking testament to its past as a prison, which was extreme in terms of environment, with the winds kicking in off the ocean with rabid and vicious strengths and effects. Many held here historically did go insane.
7) Fremantle Prison
Fremantle Prison, in Western Australia, ironically, once depended on the work of the prison camp to create limestone aquifers, which supplied the prison with a good water supply that later was sent locally abroad via ship. The aquifers now sit empty, ghosts of another time, manifesting as tunnels void of water. The prison took its first prisoners in 1860 and was open until 1991. Harsh conditions abounded, with solitary confinement cells, whipping posts, and gallows where executions were routinely held for the condemned.
Sources: CriminalJustice DegreeHub.com.