Devil's Island, Cayenne
(4.3/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web)
The penal colony of Cayenne, commonly known as Devil's Island, was a famous prison of the 19th and 20th century. It operated at several locations in French Guiana. Opened in 1852, it was notorious for being used for internal exile of French political prisoners during that period, the most famous of which was Captain Alfred Dreyfus. It is also known for its harsh treatment of criminals, who were deported there from all parts of the French empire. The system was closed down in 1953.OrganizationThe prison system stretched over several locations, on the mainland and in the off-shore Îles du Salut group. Île Royale was the reception centre for the general population of the penal colony; they were housed in moderate freedom due to the difficulty of escape from the island. Île Saint-Joseph was the Reclusion, where inmates were sent to be punished by solitary confinement in silence and darkness for escapes or offences committed in the penal colony. Île du Diable was for political prisoners. In the 19th century, the most famous such prisoner was Captain Alfred Dreyfus. In addition to the prisons on each of the three islands in the Salut island group, the French constructed three related prison facilities on the South American mainland, just across the straits at Kourou; 30 miles east in Cayenne, which later became the capital of French Guiana; and a hundred miles west at St. Laurent.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Small island that legends and stories of Cayenne. It is a beautiful landscape to explore. It is not an expensive tour in general, but occupies much of the day. I do not think it worth so much.
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  • We made the crossing of Kourou to the islands of salvation with the catamaran Tropic winds - great experience with a very friendly crew. Stop a' Royal Island first, take the tour with guide - he is passionate and we learned a lot. Then crossing St Joseph island or nature took a hand, it is very atmospheric. An unforgettable day
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  • What a beautiful discovery that these islands of salvation. Plan the visit by a passionate and exciting guide. If you can, choose a night on site to take advantage of the calm and authenticity of places. This allows to make the trip to St Joseph island. The meal at the Inn are varied and quality. We enjoyed the night in the air-conditioned rooms of the hostel, more authentic than new rooms with fans.
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