Saint-Pierre Prison

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Tue 18 Jan 2011 22:24
Exploring Saint-Pierre
We knew at the top of this hill we would find ruins
Bear was NOT asked to form this pose
Michael looking at the theatre (the first to think about acoustics)
I typed out the information from this board, mistakes and all
The Prison: Typical of prison architecture in the nineteenth century, this structure replaced a barrack for Gendarmes. In 1851 it existed with another prison which stood between the Court and the entrance to the Military Hospital, behind the present Town Hall, but which was later closed. These two prisons had replaced an old gaol which was on the Grand Rue opposite the Rue du Theatre in the second quarter of the nineteenth century. In the early days of the colonisation, the Saint Pierre Fort, at the mouth of the Roxelane River and the first building on Martiniquan soil, no doubt served as a prison, before the first recorded one was constructed in 1661.
No chance was involved when the site of the prison was chosen. Bounded on either side by the high walls of the theatre and of the Boulevard Laigret, it was also close to the imposing Barracks of the Northern Infantry. However, only those charged but not yet tried, or condemned to a maximum of one month's imprisonment were confined here. 
Cells, corridors, yards and solitary confinement cells all figure on the plan, which is remarkable for the numerous places where water could be obtained: each of the five courtyards onto which the cells opened has a rectangular washing place, some have two. This supply is representative of the abundance of water in the whole area. By the end of the nineteenth century the amount distributed in the town, per person per day was approximately one thousand litres of river water and two hundred litres of spring water.
Loius Cyparis was perhaps not the sole survivor of the catastrophe, but his destiny led him to be presented as such, as part of the American Barnum's circus. The thickness of these prison walls are believed to have saved his life. Here seen in his famous pose showing the burns he sustained.