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Alcatraz (USA) – description, history, location. Exact address, phone number, website. Reviews of tourists, photos and videos.

The most famous prison in the United States and, perhaps, the whole world, Alcatraz is not only a correctional institution (by the way, it has been functioning only as a museum for more than 30 years), but also a small picturesque island 15 minutes by sea from the San Francisco pier … Motor ships briskly ply between the “mainland” and the island, regularly delivering numerous tourists to the prison-museum. There really is something to see here: for almost a hundred years, Alcatraz has been synonymous with hell for those prisoners who were not lucky enough to serve their sentences here. Close “loners”, gloomy punishment cells and narrow barred passages – having seen all this, you begin to appreciate freedom the best way possible.

A bit of history

The history of Alcatraz began at the end of the 18th century, when the island was discovered by a Spanish navigator and named Pelicanias (this is how “alcatraz” is translated from Spanish). A century later, during the Gold Rush, a lighthouse appeared here, and a little later the construction of a fort to protect the gold-bearing territories began, which was later equipped with 110 long-range guns. The gold ran out, and the fort was no longer needed – so at the beginning of the 20th century the first prison appeared here, first for prisoners of war, and then for especially dangerous federal criminals. In the entire history of Alcatraz, not a single successful escape has been made from here – the perfect security system and natural isolation by the stormy waters of the San Francisco Bay left the fugitives no chance. Alcatraz’s most famous inmate is the legendary Al Capone, who spent seven years in prison.

What to see

Alcatraz Prison Tours are one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco. From pier number 33 “motorboats” with tourists are regularly sent to the island, at least 15 departures every half hour a day. It is possible to visit Alcatraz at night, as well as combine a trip with the nearby Angel Island.

Acquaintance with Alcatraz begins on its dock: a steep ascent leads to the fort-prison, and around there are picturesque gardens full of flowering plants. From the war period of history, Alcatraz inherited impressive cannons, as well as a considerable number of museum exhibits – binoculars, military uniforms, household items of the inhabitants of the fort, etc. Visiting the prison premises, you will see the blocks of cells where prisoners were kept, isolation wards and punishment cells. a kitchen, dining room and Sunday mass hall; and an extensive courtyard. In the Alcatraz Museum you can see the original keys with the letter “A”, whistles and weapons of warders, handcuffs and shackles, photographs, daily routine, objects of creativity of prisoners and materials on failed escapes, for example, fake heads made by prisoners from soap, wire and hair. which they intended to put on the bunks to hide the fact of their absence.

The most famous Alcatraz inmate is the legendary Al Capone, who spent seven years in prison.

Information for visitors

The ticket costs 39.90 USD for adults and 24.40 USD for children. The way to Alcatraz takes about 15 minutes, it is worth taking 2-2.5 hours to inspect the prison. You can return to San Francisco at any time the motorboats leave before 18:30.


Prices on the page are as of April 2019.

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