Prison tourism: Tobolsk jail converted into theme hostel

Travelers can experience life of a prisoner at new Siberian guesthouse. Source: Press photo

Travelers can experience life of a prisoner at new Siberian guesthouse. Source: Press photo

Representatives of the hostel say that guests will be accommodated in real prison cells, and will even be fed prison food in order to experience the life of an inmate.

A disused prison in the Western Siberian city of Tobolsk is set to reopen – as a hostel for travelers.

The new guesthouse will open up on Dec. 5 in one of the buildings of the Tobolsk prison complex, featuring guest rooms that were once prison cells. The bravest guests will get the opportunity to experience the horrors of imprisonment, with the organizers promising “hours of loneliness in the solitary confinement cells, whose walls have absorbed fear and pain.”

“Just imagine how many events and mysteries remain obscure and lost with the end of that era. A mandatory event is the meal – ‘prison gruel’,” a representative of the hostel said.

Located just east of the Urals, Tobolsk was the first capital of Siberia and is one of the largest cities in the Tyumen Region. The city was home to the exiled Romanov imperial family for 8 months in 1917-1918.

Central Tobolsk contains a former transit prison for convicts that was later converted into a museum. The prison complex was built in 1855, had a strict detention regime, and was finally abolished in 1989. Throughout the years, many notorious convicts passed through the prison’s walls, including philosopher Nikolai Chernyshevsky and writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

First published in Russian in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

More exciting stories and videos on Russia Beyond's Facebook page

This website uses cookies. Click here to find out more.

Accept cookies