Luxurious Incarceration: Garsten Abbey and Prison


    Who wouldn’t want to do their time here after getting convicted? The Garsten Abbey church and prison complex in Austria has got to be up there among the finest prisons a prisoner could wish for.

    With its breathtaking Baroque architecture, this prison which was once a Benedictine monastery, boasts a beautiful interior and exterior outside of one’s first expectations for a prison.

    Well, Garsten Abbey is also a church.

    And before becoming a church, Garsten Abbey was formerly a Benedictine monastery. In 1787, the monastery was converted to a parish and some of its adjoining buildings were sold out. The remaining unused ones started decaying with time until the state acquired parts of the building complex in 1850.

    The next year, the prison was established.

    The immaculate prison which is designed to hold prisoners serving sentences from over 18 months to life imprisonment, also has a capacity of only 360 convicts, although it has seen some instances of overpopulation. But with its picturesque compound and relatively decent conditions, it’ll be a stretch to suggest anything to the effect that the prisoners suffered during the few times the prison was overpopulated.

    There have been only a few escapes from this prison and it’s considered one of Austria’s safest penitentiaries.


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