The Katajanokka prison (now a Best Western hotel), Suomen tasavalta

Famous building in Katajanokka is the former district prison of Southern Finland. The old prison dates back to 1837, and functioned as a prison till 2002. The prison underwent an extensive interior renovation to convert the cells of the prison into hotel rooms, with sets of two or three cells combined to make up the current hotel rooms. The Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka opened in May 2007 with 106 guest rooms. Renovations cost a reported 15 million euro. As a historic building, strict limits were imposed on the redevelopment due to the strict regime of protection for historically significant buildings that is in effect in Finland. Thus, as a hotel, the exterior of the building has been preserved, as has the central corridor of the old prison and even the old prison wall. A restaurant at the lowest level of the hotel has attempted to keep much of the character of the old prison alive, and is called the "Jailbird Restaurant". However, an actual former prisoner told a Finnish newspaper that the supposed "prison cutlery" is very different from what the prison actually used: for example, prisoners never drank out of tin cups.



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