"Alcatraz Island" Top 5 Page for this destination Alcatraz Island by starship
Alcatraz Island Travel Guide: 116 reviews and 191 photos
What is it about Alcatraz that fascinates people so much? Over one million visitors arrive annually on the famous island's shore. This former fortress and prison has been the subject of numerous films and documentaries which show us but a glimpse of its fascinating past. Hollywood films have done a good job of arousing the interests of scores of people who all crave to know more -- to get the opportunity firsthand to feel what it's like to be inside its walls.
Alcatraz Island, also commonly known as "The Rock," has been in use since 1853 when a military fortress was constructed there for geographical security reasons. It did not function as a prison until some years later though it is nontheless known mostly for being a prison with a harsh regime where prisoners did "hard time." Another characteristic it is legendary for is that fact that it was virtually impossible to escape from---and yet prisoners did attempt to escape and their escape attempts and what became of them is still speculated upon to this day.
Ironically during Alcatraz's tenure as a military prison, history tells us that it functioned only as a minimum security prison. This fact is borne out by the types of work assignments given some inmates based on their classification and rankings. Imagine that not only was it once the "home" of hard-core prisoners but at the same time certain prisoners remarkably worked for the warden's and guards' families---imagine children living on "The Rock"! At times, some inmates were assigned work such as cooking, cleaning and household chores for the island's families including caring for the children of staff members!!
Hollywood movies have played a large role in adding to Alacatraz's mystique. And so people go there by the thousands and some among us may wonder ... could we survive the harsh regimen and maintain our sanity in a 5 X 9 foot cell with no possibility of ever having freedom again!?!!!
Today, Alcatraz Island is part of the U.S. National Park System. Reachable by ferry or boat alone, it maintains it stoney and inhospitable appearance even as it draws you into the sphere of its fascinating past.
Note that during certain seasons some parts of the Rock are off limits. Today it is the home of species of birds whose nesting habits the Park Service tries to protect. So Alcatraz's life of usefulness has evolved in other directions.
Whether you visit by daylight or twilight, Alcatraz is fascinating and no visit to San Francisco would be complete without seeing it!
- Pros:Place of history & legends of the notorius
- Cons:Some parts in need of restoration
- In a nutshell:Fascinating!
A new attraction on Alcatraz that was not present when we visited in 2000 is the "Gardens of Alcatraz"! Throughout the... more travel advice
Alcatraz is unlike almost all other prisons in that it has natural barriers to thwart escapes. The fact that it is... more travel advice
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