Alcatraz Island is located in the middle of the Bay of San Francisco, California in the United States. The island is home to a famous San Francisco landmark, the former high-security prison Alcatraz and the oldest lighthouse on the US West Coast.
Alcatraz Island was once used as a fort, then as a maximum security prison, and now only for tourists to visit and visit Alcatraz .
According to ANYCOUNTYPRIVATESCHOOLS.COM, Alcatraz Island in San Francisco is a sandstone island 500 meters long and up to 41 meters high. In total, Alcatraz has an area of 85,000 m².
The island was then called Alcatraz because many gannets nested on the island (Isla de los Alcatraces). Today Alcatraz is a large bird sanctuary.
At the time, Alcatraz was the safest prison in the United States. This gave the island of Alcatraz the following further names “The Rock”. Alcatraz is now under the supervision of the US National Park Service and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The history of Alcatraz
In 1852 the first lighthouse was built on Alcatraz, making it the first lighthouse in the entire American Pacific. The lighthouse was intended to guide the incoming ships at that time. During the Gold Rush period (1848), many ships arrived in San Francisco.
From 1853 to 1859, Fort Alcatraz was built on the island by the military. In 1861 it was used as a prison for prisoners of war.
In 1903 the prison had to be closed for the first time because it was very run down. In 1906 a new building was planned. The new prison construction with reinforced concrete building was completed in 1911. In 1909 the lighthouse was rebuilt.
In 1933, Alcatraz was converted into a maximum security prison. A total of approximately 1,576 inmates were incarcerated at Alcatraz through 1963. A maximum of 250 at a time. The prisoners were imprisoned on Alcatraz for an average of 10 years, during which time the inmates were completely isolated from the outside world. Alcatraz was not used for prisoner rehabilitation. There were several escape attempts during this period, but none managed to escape from Alcatraz.
Prisoners’ cells were approximately 5 feet by 9 feet, with a sink, toilet, and bed. The prison guards lived on the island with their families.
A special feature that Alcatraz had in the prison were hot water showers for the prisoners. This should not get the prisoners used to cold water and should make it easier for them to escape in the freezing Pacific.
Famous Alcatraz inmates included Al Capone, Robert Stroud, and Machine Gun Kelly.
In 1963 the prison was closed by Attorney General Robert Kennedy because the prison island was becoming too expensive to maintain. The island has been uninhabited since 1963.
Information for sightseeing and tours to Alcatraz
If you book a tour of Alcatraz to visit, you can visit: the cell block, the dining room, the library, the prison yard and the guards’ quarters with an exhibit. You should plan two to three hours to visit the island. Alcatraz is self-guided. You can be accompanied by a German-language Alcatraz audio tour, which is included in the Alcatraz admission price.
Alcatraz Island offers a beautiful view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.
It is advisable to book tickets for a tour to Alcatraz in advance, as it can happen during the high season that tickets are no longer available at short notice. You can go to Alkatras with the shipping company Alcatraz Cruises (Alcatraz Ferry): //www.alcatrazcruises.com
The Alcatraz attraction ferries depart and dock at Pier 33 in Fisherman’s Wharf.
Address of the Alcatraz attraction in San Francisco