11 of the most beautiful prisons around the world

Picture: Getty Images

Not all prisons are colorless concrete boxes.

Around the world, from Denmark to England to India, there are high-security facilities that feature stunning architecture and interior design.

Many of the most beautiful prisons are centuries-old, but some are more modern and feature sleek, simple designs.

Here is a sampling.

Austria's Justice Center was designed by Joseph Hohensinn to let in ample light. There are two inscriptions by the entrance, each affirming inmates' right to dignity and humanity.

Norway's Halden Prison lets inmates cook, play video games, shoot hoops, and sleep on plush beds. Rooms look more like college dorms than cells. The idea is to treat convicts like people, so they will re-enter society in a healthy mindset.

If not for the heavy locking doors, Her Majesty's Prison (or HMP) Parc, in Wales, could pass for a public school. It offers numerous classes, a gymnasium with hot showers, pool tables, and ping-pong tables.

Channel 4

Chillon Castle is located on Lake Geneva, in Switzerland. It functioned as a prison during the Wars of Religion in the 16th century and later was turned into a weapons depot and outpost.

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Fremantle Prison, located in Western Australia, was decommissioned in 1991 after a 136-year run. It is now listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Scenic Bastoy Prison, located on a private island about 35 miles northwest of Halden, is another open prison that gives prisoners access to farming, fishing, skiing, tennis, and horseback riding.

The Austrian prison Garsten Abbey used to function as a monastery up until 1851, at which point it began running as a prison. Its Baroque architecture makes it one of the more sophisticated-looking facilities in the world.

In Overloon, Netherlands, the Juvenile Pavilion youth detention center uses an open design plan and borrows the natural-wood feel of the surrounding environment to keep inmates engaged with the outside world.

East Jutland State Prison opened a little over 10 years ago in Enner Mark, Denmark. Its clean, simple design masks high security, including infrared cameras, motion sensors, and fingerprint scanners.

DK Horsens

Cellular Jail, located on India's Andaman Nicobar Islands, was used in the early 20th century by the British mainly to exile political dissidents who were fighting for India's independence.

Wikimedia Commons

England's Tower of London served as an operating prison from the year 1100 all the way up to 1952. It was rebuilt in the late 13th century but has stayed mostly the same ever since.

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