A Piece of Prison Life Tour

  PortoNovo KajaNazimudeen
  karma level 242287

If you’ve ever wondered what prison life would be like, you’ll enjoy this photo tour of the world’s famous prison museums. Get a glimpse into the far, and not-so-distant, past lives of prisoners.


Robben Island Prison — Robben Island, South Africa

Robben Island Prison, located near Cape Town, was a place of imprisonment for over 400 years. It was a perfect place to lock up political troublemakers and social outcasts, and you can still feel the atmosphere of despair inside these prison walls.

Photo by mr_mayer

Photo by geoftheref

Photo by ewebber

Photo by tall bru

Abashiri Prison Museum — Abashiri City Hokkaido, Japan

The Abashiri Prison was in use until 1984. Presently you can see models of prisoners throughout the prison museum showing the prisoners’ daily lives in Abashiri. The models kind of tone down real prison life though, giving us a definite feeling that this is not real.

Photo by peta_peta

Photo by hwkbk

Photo by peta_peta

Photo by JanneM

Adelaide Gaol — Thebarton, South Australia

Adelaide Gaol was built in the mid-1800s and closed in 1988. During that time, over 300,000 prisoners were kept here. Nowadays the visitor center includes a museum with lots of interesting artifacts dating back to the Gaol’s early years.

Photo by grumpypop51

Photo by georgiegirlis

Photo by Mowling

Photo by Squirmelia

Maitland Gaol — East Maitland, NSW, Australia

Maitland Gaol is the longest continuously operating correctional institution in Australia with a 150-year history. The first prisoners arrived here in 1848, and the Gaol was closed in 1998. On my personal opinion it never should have been opened as a museum. You’ll understand what I mean when you’ll take a look at the photos. They are much too outspoken to be exhibited.

Photo by yewenyi

Photo by OZinOH

Photo by OZinOH

Photo by OZinOH

Photo by AugustusGloop

Photo by AugustusGloop

Old Melbourne Gaol — Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The Old Melbourne Gaol has a long history. It was opened in 1839 and was closed in 1929. Throughout these years people lived their lives inside its walls. Though the prison still looks the way it used to be, the building itself has a certain romance. The prison was designed by British prison engineer Joshua Jebb, and the Old Melbourne Gaol closely reminds me of the Pentonville Model Prison in London.

Photo by Leong Soong

Photo by Leong Soong

Photo by Nick Hawke

Photo by jedidiplomat

Model Prison Museum — Reparto Chacon, Nueva Gerona, Isla de la Juventud, Cuba

The Model Prison Museum is not that famous in US, but it’s a Cuban national monument. It was built in 1931, and imprisoned the likes of Fidel Castro along with other revolutionaries.

Photo by alpine diver

Photo by alpine diver

Clink Prison — South Bank, London, UK

The Clink Prison was owned by the Winchester Bishops, and thus mostly religious offenders and debtors were imprisoned here. The prison burned down in the Gordon Riots of 1780, but the Clink Museum

still paints a realistic picture of prison life in the middle ages for tourists. Interesting exhibitions and old weapons make you feel almost like you’re in a castle rather than an old prison.

Photo by jbparker

Photo by mehrnoosh kalashi

Photo by Wayne Huzzey

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial — Dachau, Germany

Much has been said and written about the Nazi concentration camps. Such places will never be alive again. Thousands of people were killed, and thousands of people died from depletion. It was the first Nazi concentration camp, and served as a model for later camps. Though Dachau was not an extermination camp the suffering of the prisoners will always live in its walls. In one of the photos you will see the crematory. Those who couldn’t work were no longer fed. They died from hunger and were then burnt in this room.

Photo by gio.moi

Photo by Jared reyes

Photo by Jared reyes

Photo by MikasPics

Photo by AngelaC2009***

Photo by MikasPics

Alcatraz — San Francisco, CA, USA

Chances are good that you’ve heard about Alcatraz. Probably America’s most famous prison, Alcatraz operated as a federal prison from 1934 until 1963. That might not be long compared to most of the prisons on our list today, but its rich history definitely makes this prison-turned-museum worth the mention.

Photo by Dizzy Atmosphere

Photo by Albert & Debbie

Photo by CatDancing

Photo by haglundc

Photo by Donncha @ InPhotos.org

Photo by Amin Tabrizi

Eastern State Penitentiary — Philadelphia, PA, USA

Eastern State Penitentiary was opened in 1892. It’s considered to be the world’s first true penitentiary — a prison designed to inspire penitence in the hearts of convicts. It was used as a model for about 300 other prisons around the world and was closed in 1971, opening its doors now as a museum (and a popular yearly Halloween attraction).

Photo by Synaesthesia

Photo by Synaesthesia

Photo by Synaesthesia

Photo by J Blough

Photo by J Blough

Fremantle Prison — Fremantle, Western Australia

The Fremantle Prison was built by convicts in the 1850s and was closed as a place of incarceration in 1991 after 136 years of continuous use. It was opened to the public in 1992 as a tourist site. I don’t feel like visiting it on my own though — the photos are enough give me the full picture of that sorrowful place.

Photo by Madfish WA

Photo by telex

Photo by mstephens7

Photo by garry.pettet

Photo by garry.pettet

Photo by le_sloth

Huron Historic Gaol. Goderich, Ontario, Canada

The Huron County Jail was opened in 1872 and serverd as the jail till 1972. The building originally housed the County Courts and Council Chambers, as well as serving as Gaol and House of Refuge.

Photo by Jack1962

Photo by Jack1962

Photo by Jack1962

Photo by Jack1962



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