Devil's Island, Cayenne

(4.4/5 based on 150+ 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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  • Mythical place to be for any visitor to Guyana. The journey there and back is already a program if it is done in the rainy season. On-site places are heavenly... Goods that they reflect a tragic not so distant past. One can spend the night, there is a friendly hostel on site. Don't hesitate to go around the different islands, to discover all the aspects including the most secret...
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  • Not to be missed. Idyllic and historic from the prison setting. Restaurant very good. Without being extraordinary but is not what I asked. The bagards n pool is not large and depends on the tide. The Royal Island tour takes 1 hour in s stopping to take pictures. Go on the island saint Joseph: beautiful shelling beach.
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  • One hour from Kourou featured or catamaran salvation Islands deploy their Majesty to the dumbfounded looks of travellers we are. We have to earn her entry on the Royal Island, uphill walk to the garden of Eden, where we expect hospital ghost, who once collected the convicts, their guards, the army... 3 years ago the hospital was overrun by vegetation, barbed wire blocked his approach. And then this year we had the immense surprise to see... clear... in all its glory. Who knows? Maybe soon a "sound & light" will he tell us its history and that of the prison?
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