A Photographic Journey Through the Centre Penitenciari d’Homes La Model

Alexa Pazienza is a student at Lindenwood University and is an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. She is studying abroad with ISA in Barcelona, Spain

Centre Penitenciari d’Homes La Model or more commonly known as La Model, is a closed men’s prison in the L’Eixample district of Barcelona. The prison was built in 1887 and inaugurated on June 9, 1904. In addition to the common prisoners, many political and trade union prisoners of the Franco regime were kept here. The center began to take in more and more prisoners and quadrupled its optimal boarding capacity. Thousands of prisoners were executed in an attempt to bring the population of prisoners down to the capacity level. The prison was officially closed in June 2017. The prison is currently closed to the public, however, I was lucky enough to visit during an art exhibition inside the prison.

The prison will be open for tours starting on January 21, 2019. These tours will be free and will allow groups of up to 30 people. No reservation is necessary and the tours leave every 15 minutes Friday from 3pm-8pm, and Saturday from 10am-6pm.

Perruqueria is a Catalan word that translates to “peluquería” in Spanish and barber shop in English

Each cell was only equipped to hold three people, however, about twelve men were kept in each cell.

All of my photos were taken on a Gopro Hero 6. All photos have a fish eye lens to help widen the frame and give a different perspective.  

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