There are many experiences in our lifetime that we may have missed or don’t have to experience. One of them is being incarcerated (not unless if one chose to be behind bars). But being a law-abiding citizen, this is far from possible.
In Germany, however, there is a place that can offer you what it is like to sleep in a prison cell.
In the “Krimiland” Eifel, a “prison hotel” should not be missing: For over 40 years “convicts on probation” have been quartered in former prison cells in the hotel “Zum Amtsrichter”.
“Of course they have a different level of comfort today than they did back then,” said hotel manager Andreas Schmitz in Hillesheim (Vulkaneifel district). The heavy cell doors with wooden fittings are still original. The “Royal Prussian District Court of Trier in Hillesheim” with a business prison, built-in 1860, was closed in 1967. Two years later, the Schmitz family opened the converted house as a hotel. “We are the oldest prison hotel in Germany, ” said Schmitz.
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The office became a restaurant, the cellar became a bar and the prison yard became a garden. The former prison kitchen now offers more than just bread and water. If you want, you can try a “hangman’s meal” or a “poor sinner soup”. “Club weekends”, where up to 24 guests can sniff prison air, are particularly popular. After the briefing in the “cells”, striped convict suits are handed out, in which an outdoor walk (city tour) – on a long chain – is made.
“We have many repeat offenders here who keep coming back,” said Schmitz. “There are groups that have been through this three times.” More and more families are attracted by the “vacation in prison”, said Schmitz. On the weekends he reenacts a court hearing and appears as a magistrate wearing a robe. Why do you like such a short vacation? “People just want to experience something different than usual. It’s the attraction of the other,” he said. In Rhineland-Palatinate, there is also the “Alcatraz” prison hotel in Kaiserslautern, which opened about a year ago.
This post had been sourced from Augsburger Allgemeine site on travel and vacations.