In the city of Horsens, Denmark, you find the Largest Prison Museum in the World. Since 2006 when the last inmate left the former Horsens State Penitentiary, intense work and effort have been invested in the project which is now a reality: Fængslet (The Prison).
The city of Horsens doesn’t necessarily have the same ring to it as Copenhagen or Aarhus, especially when it comes to culture. But maybe that will change when you encounter The Prison.
The Prison Museum in Horsens has the world’s largest collection of prison items. Altogether, they give you a rare opportunity to experience the otherwise closed world of a prison. Here you can find out what life behind the walls was like for both inmates and guards throughout history.
And for the first time ever you can get a virtual tour of the largest prison museum in the World.
Today the historic buildings of the former state penitentiary houses FÆNGSLET, the cultural institution that encompasses The Prison Museum, the city’s tourist information center VISITHORSENS, the prison hotel SleepIn Fængslet, business events, festivals, concerts, the shared office space FÆNGSLET 2 and much more.
Museums + Heritage Award 2016, the Oscars of the museum world, awarded the captivating experience as the world’s best museum experience! Quite impressive considering only 10 years ago it was still a real prison, which had existed for more than 150 years and housed some of Denmark’s worst criminals.
Modern technology brings prisoners and guards back to the prison and you can see them as shadows on the walls, hear the sound of them walking on the stairs or knocking on a cell door.
You can also see and hear them on screens, in phones and through intercom systems, where they talk about matters of importance to life behind bars. It can be anything from drug problems to the detested weekly fish day.
The former prison yard where inmates used to enjoy fresh air and exercise is today a concert arena. Outdoor concerts and event of any taste can be enjoyed here throughout the summer season. The rock legends Metallica with Danish drummer Lars Ulrich have played there twice, and German rock band Rammstein is scheduled to play this summer.
Some of the facilities of the old penitentiary – the prison workshops, the gathering hall, the gym – are now available for rental by those who are looking for a very distinct framing of their event – whether it´s meetings, conferences or parties.
There are even cells you can explore and try what prison life was like. Search for graffiti and hidden things with the prison guards or lay down on a bed and let your thoughts wander in the company of inmates. You can find the ax that was used during the last execution in Denmark, homemade tattoo-kit and all sorts of other creative prison craftsmanship.
The interactive experience works in two way:
First, as a virtual tour which lets you explore the many floors and rooms of the notorious, including:
· The inmates first meeting with the prison
· The trip to the infirmary
· Transfer to isolation
· Special block for gangs
Second, as an informative tool that presents stories from the inmates along the way
To create this unusual virtual tour The Prison teamed up with Expedia Denmark. With help from Google Street View you can take a virtual tour of FÆNGSLET.
Be a Prisoner in Denmark, written by Tor Kjolberg