For three decades, California’s Alcatraz Island was home to America’s most feared prison. Set more than a mile from land in San Francisco Bay, the jail was considered inescapable. Anyone who tried would face a long, cold swim through the chill waters of the bay, assailed by harsh currents. Not everyone was deterred, though, but officially none succeeded.

Ten years after it closed, the prison opened up to visitors. These days, close to a million people come to Alcatraz annually – just for the day or evening. The lure of the jail is strong, making it an attraction for tourists from around the globe, seeking a taste of its grim history.

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