Hello, my name is Anna. This blog is about all the beautiful islands around the world.

164 alcatraz

Today on the blog: Alcatraz island!

Even though it's tiny (511m by 180 m and is 41 m at highest point during mean tide), most people know its name. Alcatraz is home of the US first maximum security prison, which opened in 1934 and closed in 1963. But do you know what the name actually means? It was in 1775 when Spanish Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala sailed through the Golden Gate and named the rocky island “La Isla de los Alcatraces,” which can be translated to “Island of the Pelicans.”

During the 29 years the prison was in use, it held some of the most notorious criminals in American history, including the famous Al Capone. Interestingly, even though in pop culture it is portrayed as one of the toughest prisons, in reality many prisoners considered the conditions inside Alcatraz to be more attractive than at other places, and many even asked to be moved there.

But criminals were not the only inhabitans of this island. There are also cormorants, orange-footed pigeon guillemots, snowy egrets and black-crowned night herons and several more bird species, that you can get really close to, which makes Alcatraz a birdwatcher's paradise.

Big thanks to Gosia and Piotr for sending this card! :)


in the San Francisco Bay
distance travelled
sent from

source: SouthernWI
source: Jitze Couperus


  1. Świetna kartka. Lubię pocztówki w takim stylu. Są ciekawym urozmaiceniem zbiorów :) O wyspie oczywiście słyszałam. Budzi ona we mnie pewien rodzaj niepokoju, choć dobrze nie potrafię tego wyjaśnić;)

  2. Alcatraz is a mythical island that deserved to be featured here. It makes me think of the film, and of people trying to escape. But today it must make a wonderful visit.



My big dream is to receive postcards sent from every island in the world (at least those that have a postbox). If you would like to help me, please contact me at letters.from.islands@gmail.com.

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