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Karostas Cietums: Prison, Hotel, Museum, All in One!

27. May 2010 by Michelle 0 Comments

Karostas Cietums in Liepaja, Latvia housed prisoners for nearly 100 years, from revolutionaries and officers of the Tsarist Army, to deserters of the German Wehrmacht and soldiers who rebelled against Stalin. Today, tourists and students pay to become prisoners and learn about shocking Soviet history.


Guests feel like they enter a time machine when beginning the guided tours of Karostas Cietums, since the prison remains exactly the same as it was for the very first inmates. You can try on a gas mask and some actual clothing of a young pioneer. History buffs are blown away by the impressive collection of original artifacts and souvenirs.


For those craving punishment, overnight stays are encouraged. Criminals are handcuffed upon arrival, stripped of all their belongings, and thrown into a real prison cell. Meals consist of stale bread and water, while guests attempt to sleep on wooden bunks or iron mattresses. Some are fortunate enough to be forced into the underground labyrinths by torchlight. Mysterious sights and sounds are often reported as many believe the prison to be haunted by the thousands of tortured souls who perished there.


Compared to a terrifying historical interactive reality show, Karostas Cietums is the only military prison in Europe open to tourists. If you happen to meet some Latvian ladies on, do you think you're brave enough to spend a nightmarish night at this naval port prison more impressive than Alcatraz?