San Francisco, California

Alcatraz – prison island of San Francisco

Movies made the small island famous

According to Act-test-centers, the small island of Alcatraz with the world-famous prison complex of the same name is located in the Bay of San Francisco on the west coast of California. About two kilometers from the mainland, the manageable island was initially used as a fort, as a military base during the American wars. Later, in 1933, it became a maximum security prison, a prison island. Judging by the island’s name, before human occupation, the island was a bird island, a breeding habitat for seabirds.

Alcatraz in the haze, within sight of the metropolis of San Francisco

The Rock

Called ” The Rock “, the island seemed ideal for a prison. Escape from Alcatraz was practically impossible. Currents in San Francisco Bay have always been treacherous and extremely dangerous. In addition, the water in the San Francisco Bay is really very cold. There were few attempts to escape, and fewer still are likely to have survived the outbreak. In addition to the prisoners, the prison guards and their families also lived on Alcatraz.

Uninhabited tourist destination

Today, the island is just a tourist destination on San Francisco Bay. Alcatraz is about 500 meters long and once supported the first lighthouse on the US West Coast. The name Alcatraz comes from the Spanish and means something like bird island, island of the pelicans.

Alcatraz Maximum Security Prison – San Francisco

Indian Rebellion on Alcatraz

In 1963, the prison on Alcatraz was closed. The dilapidated buildings were no longer worth maintaining. No one has officially resided on Alcatraz since that time. In 1964 and the years that followed, Native American (Sioux) people occupied “The Rock” to draw attention to the unfair and brutal land grabs of America, particularly California, by white settlers. In 1971, Alcatraz buildings were forcibly evicted. The small island with its buildings and prison has served as a tourist attraction since 1972. And sometimes the film industry stops by to take advantage of the special location.

Cable Cars in San Francisco – USA

With the tram over the hills of the city

San Francisco ‘s cable car-operated streetcars are called ” cable cars “. Cable car rides are particularly popular with the numerous tourists visiting the coastal metropolis. People are happy to put up with long waiting times for this.

Cable Car – safe ride uphill and downhill

Cable Cars – same yet not the same

In 1873, the first streetcar in San Francisco started operating, in the following years the streetcar network was expanded and more cable cars were used to transport people.

Finally, in 1890, the rail network was complete. However, since different railway companies were at the start, rails were laid with different gauges. For example, the streetcars in San Francisco could only carry people, uh – drive them on their special rails.

Technically obsolete at the beginning of the 20th century

During the great 1906 earthquake in the San Francisco area, all cable car routes were destroyed. In the meantime, the conventional drive form of cable cars with a moving endless steel cable had become obsolete. When the tram network was rebuilt, only new, electrified trams were used.

Cable Car in Downtown San Francisco

Only the steepest stretches in San Francisco were re-equipped with the old-fashioned “cable cars”. only they could cope with the enormous gradients. By 1944, only two cable cars were still operating in San Francisco, since powerful, diesel-powered cars were now also being used.

Cable Cars als National Erbe

In the decades that followed, the cable cars were repeatedly shut down because they could no longer be operated profitably. Buses should be used as an alternative. Again and again the citizens of San Francisco campaigned for the continued operation. Since 1964, with interruptions, only two or three sections of the route have been used. San Francisco’s Cable Cars are now recognized as a National Heritage Site and are very popular with tourists, so they continue to operate.

With the claw on the rope

In the case of the cable cars, a steel cable moves in a ditch in the street. To move, a steel claw under the tram grabs the rope and lets itself be pulled by the moving rope. At a stop, the steel claw is released from the rope.

Lombard Street in San Francisco

Serpentine road on Russian Hill

The well-known, winding part of Lombard Street, which runs through San Francisco, is on Russian Hill, between Hyde Street and Leavenworth Street. As a popular street and photo motif for tourists, it is one of the busiest streets in the coastal metropolis on San Francisco Bay. Not to the delight of local residents. The entire Lombard Street in San Francisco runs from Presidio to Telegraph Hill, crossing the metropolitan area of ​​San Francisco. The gradient is 16º. Before the road was reconstructed in 1922-1923, the gradient was as much as 27º.

San Francisco – green, heavily trafficked serpentine Lombard Street

Torment for local residents – fun for tourists

Up to 350 vehicles per hour crawl down the serpentine road. On a length of 145 meters there are really tight curves to overcome. The road will be temporarily closed to non-residents to give the stressed residents a little more peace. There have also been accidents on Lombard Street’s single lane zigzag lane. Careless tourists, mostly taking photos, stayed illegally on the road.

With the tin box through the sea of ​​flowers

The spaces between the serpentines of the famous Lombard Street are regularly planted with blooming flowers. In spring and summer, the street is framed by a veritable sea of ​​flowers. There are trees along the side of the road on one side, which gives a green touch to the winding road. Lombard Street leads to the Golden Gate Bridge as it continues.

Tin box to tin box on Lombard Street

Very short and curvaceous

The cobbled Lombard Street was built in its current form in 1922-1923 because the previous street was simply too steep to drive or walk. Consider that the road previously led straight up the mountain. The most famous section of the road is 145 meters long with eight full curves. Pedestrians can pass the downhill one-way street by means of stairs on either side of the street. Lombard Street is probably one of the most famous streets in San Francisco today, but it is not the steepest. There are much steeper streets in San Francisco.

San Francisco, California