A great example of early neoclassical architecture, the city of Cadiz decided to construct the royal prison in 1792 when it became apparent that the original one had become rundown and was poorly situated anyways. Interestingly the new building was designed at a time when Baroque architecture was falling out of favour, as the more elaborate design was seen as being decadent and in poor taste, a sentiment likely motivated by a long economic decline Spain was suffering through at the time. The prison however wouldn’t actually open for another forty years. In fact even when the prison did open, the section nearest the sea would remain incomplete and unusable until its rehabilitation in 1990 when the Ministry of Justice saved the building from near ruin and converted it into a courthouse.

During our port of call however we stumbled upon the royal prison only after a kindly guard waved us in, and discovered to our surprise that it was being used at the time to host a small exhibit of nineteenth century period clothing that some of the local students had made, so I’m not sure if it’s even being used as a courthouse anymore.