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The Leopoldov Prison, Slovakia

April 2nd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Leopoldov Prison, originally a fortress, is a high-security prison in the town of Leopoldov, Slovakia.

Construction of a fortress against Ottoman Turks started in 1665 and was finished in 1669, on the initiative of Leopold I, after the Nové Zámky fortress fell to the Turks. The fortress was built in a star shape, with two entrance gates. During the reign of Maria Theresa of Austria, it was used as a military warehouse. After loss of military importance in the 19th century, it was rebuilt as a prison in 1855, with a capacity of around 1000 inmates, what was the biggest prison in the Kingdom of Hungary at that time. During the Communist Czechoslovakia, the Communist government used the prison for holding and liquidating political prisoners, particularly in the 1950s. The conditions were harsh for prisoners, and the prison was one of the most notorious in the former Czechoslovakia. Among the inmates was Gustáv Husák (from 1954 to 1960), who would be later president of Czechoslovakia. The prison was modernized and reconstructed in the second half of the 20th century. Before 1989 there were approximately 2600 inmates in the prison.

On 15 March 1990, the prisoners started a revolt, resisting arrest for two weeks, barricading themselves and using petrol bombs and flamethrowers as their weapons. As a result, the whole complex was significantly damaged, rendering it unusable. A year later, in November 1991, seven escapees murdered five guards.

Although the Slovak National Council voted to close the prison in 1990, this decision was reversed in 1993. Today, the prison is used as a medium and high security prison, for 1,426 inmates. Some objects are protected as historical monuments.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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