What is the convenient prison
REST IN PRISON
The travelers go behind bars - and with great pleasure. They enter the prison cell in striped inmate clothing and make themselves comfortable on the bunk beds. The walls are kept plain white, and there is room for luggage in the blue lockers. But where chicken thieves and thugs used to serve their sentences, now Weser hikers and cyclists voluntarily spend the night: in the former Petershagen detention center.
The old district court Petershagen was built in 1913 and is laid out like a palace.
The association "Rast im Knast e.V." offers travelers extremely pleasant "detention conditions". In the former cells of the "Old Prison", guests will find a comfortable night camp - behind prison doors. The unusual accommodation is possible in four cells: three smaller cells function as "double rooms", a larger one offers accommodation for six guests passing through. Breakfast and other meals are taken in a cafeteria in the old bailiff's apartment.
The visitors sniff the prison air like in the old days: For their stay they are provided with appropriate striped prison clothing. The light cannot be extinguished in the cells themselves, but only in the corridor. But unlike the prisoners in the past, today's inmates can lock their cells from the inside and leave them at any time. Modern gas heating keeps the cell wing warm, and there are modern toilets in the cellar vault. Nevertheless, the convicts of yore are always present - for example in the old inscriptions they carved into the walls.
In the two-story prison, the stairs lead to the cells.
The new use as an inexpensive hostel saved the prison, built in 1913, from deterioration. The renovation and conversion were financially supported by the NRW Foundation. Among other things, the basement had to be completely redesigned and adapted to today's sanitary facilities. Since the foundation of the association "Rast im Knast e.V." the members always lend a hand themselves to maintain the building, for example by replacing the windows. The association invests all income in the overnight accommodation and the cell building.
The prison originally offered space for seven prisoners and is part of the palais-like "Old District Court" in downtown Petershagen. The complex consists of a two-story courthouse, the adjoining judge's residence, the bailiff's apartment and the narrow, two-story prison. Behind it - behind high walls - is the prison yard.
There is space in the smallest cell: the communal cell accommodates six visitors.
In the past mainly harmless criminals sat in the cells, mostly because of minor offenses such as mouth robbery or cattle theft. The daily routine was monotonous: the cells were equipped with wooden cot, stool, table, mirror and wall cupboard with bowl and cutlery. It was heated with coal stoves that could only be operated from the corridor. Twice a day, the prisoners were allowed to walk for half an hour in the prison yard. Before it was finally closed in 1978, the prison was still used to accommodate young people under weekend arrest.
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