September 01, 2010

Travel Notes

Prison Hospitality

St. Petersburg’s notorious Kresty (“Crosses”) Prison (pictured, above)  will be evacuated and may eventually be transformed into a deluxe hotel, Kommersant reported. Prisoners will be moved into a new prison in 2013, and the government will place the structure, built in 1892, up for auction. 

Kresty has historically been a transit prison. In the 1930s, it housed many political prisoners – stuff--ing up to 17 people in each
3 m2 cell. Nikolai Zabolotsky, Lev Gumilev, and Daniil Kharms are but a few of the writers who spent time in Kresty; Kharms died there. The prison’s unusual floorplan may not attract investors as much as its prime location on Arsenalnaya Embankment. Due to its designation as an architectural landmark, the prison cannot be extensively remodeled.

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