The central prison of Lucerne was built in 1862 and had been operating up until 1998. This historic building was recently repurposed, allowing you to stay in one of the 60 prison cell rooms. The hotel got its name after Barabas, a brave pacifist man who refused military service, and as a result, he was thrown in jail. During his long stay, he painted frescoes of all the things he missed from his life when he was a free man. You can still find Barabas' wall arts in Switzerland's first jailhouse hotel.
The cells are not comfy rooms with proper mattresses. Budget-friendly triple and quadruple rooms with bunk beds are available for backpackers. There are also the typical single and twin rooms, except they look nothing like ordinary hotel rooms with small windows and security bars. No escaping from here, at least not through the windows! The most special accommodation is the Superior Cell. These are former interrogation, visitor rooms, and the director's office converted into premium rooms. If you happen to forget to bring your favorite book with you, fear not, the prison, I mean the hotel has its own library with a nice collection of crime novels.
The former prison's courtyard is now home to cozy deck chairs and lanterns encompassed by the greenery planted on the walls. Only the prison windows staring at you will remind you about the grim past of this place. Forget about prison food; Hotel Barabas has a top-notch Japanese restaurant. Izakaya Nozomi is styled as a village ryokan and follows the high-quality dining traditions of its origin country. After a few glasses of sake, you might want to try some fun games. In the hotel's lounge, you'll find a table-soccer table, a billiard table, and darts too. Planning to go out for a walk to discover Lucerne? Hotel Barabas is right in the old town close to the Reuss River and Lake Lucerne.