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Pictures | Fri Sep 22, 2017 | 10:10pm IST

Former Dutch prison now offers refuge as hotel

The Movement Hotel, which opened this month in one tower of the Bijlmerbajes, once the Netherlands' most notorious prison, offers both a unique experience for its guests and a glimpse of a more hopeful future for its employees. The hotel is staffed and run by asylum-seekers, selected from a group of 600, mostly Syrians, who are being temporarily housed by the Dutch government - not under lock and key - in other parts of the complex.

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

The Movement Hotel, which opened this month in one tower of the Bijlmerbajes, once the Netherlands' most notorious prison, offers both a unique experience for its guests and a glimpse of a more hopeful future for its employees. The hotel is staffed...more

The Movement Hotel, which opened this month in one tower of the Bijlmerbajes, once the Netherlands' most notorious prison, offers both a unique experience for its guests and a glimpse of a more hopeful future for its employees. The hotel is staffed and run by asylum-seekers, selected from a group of 600, mostly Syrians, who are being temporarily housed by the Dutch government - not under lock and key - in other parts of the complex. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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A visitor takes photos inside the former The Bijlmerbajes prison turned Movement Hotel. The staff know their residence status is uncertain, but all hope to gain experience and build up their resumes as they dream of future employment in a more normal life. "We heard from the (Dutch) government that if the situation in Syria is safe, we must go back," said the hotel manager, Hachem, who like other staff asked that his surname not be used because of the potential danger to his family in Syria. Once he has been in the Netherlands five years, however, he hopes to get permission to remain long-term.

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

A visitor takes photos inside the former The Bijlmerbajes prison turned Movement Hotel. The staff know their residence status is uncertain, but all hope to gain experience and build up their resumes as they dream of future employment in a more normal...more

A visitor takes photos inside the former The Bijlmerbajes prison turned Movement Hotel. The staff know their residence status is uncertain, but all hope to gain experience and build up their resumes as they dream of future employment in a more normal life. "We heard from the (Dutch) government that if the situation in Syria is safe, we must go back," said the hotel manager, Hachem, who like other staff asked that his surname not be used because of the potential danger to his family in Syria. Once he has been in the Netherlands five years, however, he hopes to get permission to remain long-term. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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View of a cell. For guests, the hotel offers an experience of a bit of Amsterdam history, complete with observation cameras in the elevators and barbed wire on some of the outer walls. The prison was shut in June 2016.

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View of a cell. For guests, the hotel offers an experience of a bit of Amsterdam history, complete with observation cameras in the elevators and barbed wire on some of the outer walls. The prison was shut in June 2016. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View of a cell. For guests, the hotel offers an experience of a bit of Amsterdam history, complete with observation cameras in the elevators and barbed wire on some of the outer walls. The prison was shut in June 2016. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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Housekeeping Manager Ella Delsanto and Monjid, an asylum seeker from Syria, are seen inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. The Bijlmerbajes once housed notorious criminals, including the group that kidnapped beer magnate Freddy Heineken in 1983 for a 17 million euro ransom. The prison's name comes from the Bijlmer neighborhood to the southeast and "bajes", a Yiddish slang term for jail that entered Dutch via Amsterdam's Jewish population.

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Housekeeping Manager Ella Delsanto and Monjid, an asylum seeker from Syria, are seen inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. The Bijlmerbajes once housed notorious criminals, including the group that kidnapped beer magnate Freddy Heineken in 1983 for...more

Housekeeping Manager Ella Delsanto and Monjid, an asylum seeker from Syria, are seen inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. The Bijlmerbajes once housed notorious criminals, including the group that kidnapped beer magnate Freddy Heineken in 1983 for a 17 million euro ransom. The prison's name comes from the Bijlmer neighborhood to the southeast and "bajes", a Yiddish slang term for jail that entered Dutch via Amsterdam's Jewish population. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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Asylum seekers, Monjid from Syria (L) and Bassit from Egypt, welcome a visitor. Rob Hoogerwerf, the Dutchman who organised the project with donations and the help of various authorities, says the staff are working toward a certificate that would let them work in the hospitality industry in the Netherlands - or wherever they end up. "We are helping them, or at least we would like to help them, to find their way."

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Asylum seekers, Monjid from Syria (L) and Bassit from Egypt, welcome a visitor. Rob Hoogerwerf, the Dutchman who organised the project with donations and the help of various authorities, says the staff are working toward a certificate that would let...more

Asylum seekers, Monjid from Syria (L) and Bassit from Egypt, welcome a visitor. Rob Hoogerwerf, the Dutchman who organised the project with donations and the help of various authorities, says the staff are working toward a certificate that would let them work in the hospitality industry in the Netherlands - or wherever they end up. "We are helping them, or at least we would like to help them, to find their way." REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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Asylum seeker Monjid from Syria brings food to visitors. Rooms cost 99-140 euros ($119-$168) a night. Each is decorated with a single word on the wall intended to invoke the many contradictions of the place: "Freedom?"

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Asylum seeker Monjid from Syria brings food to visitors. Rooms cost 99-140 euros ($119-$168) a night. Each is decorated with a single word on the wall intended to invoke the many contradictions of the place: "Freedom?" REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Asylum seeker Monjid from Syria brings food to visitors. Rooms cost 99-140 euros ($119-$168) a night. Each is decorated with a single word on the wall intended to invoke the many contradictions of the place: "Freedom?" REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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View of a control room inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. "We were looking for something different ... and at the last moment, we saw this place," said Andrea Legaspi, a Spanish law student attracted by the chance to get some kind of feel of prison life. Sure enough, she found a name carved into her cell, and had a view through the bars down into the prison exercise yard - as well as a comfortable bed and wifi.

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View of a control room inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. "We were looking for something different ... and at the last moment, we saw this place," said Andrea Legaspi, a Spanish law student attracted by the chance to get some kind of feel of...more

View of a control room inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. "We were looking for something different ... and at the last moment, we saw this place," said Andrea Legaspi, a Spanish law student attracted by the chance to get some kind of feel of prison life. Sure enough, she found a name carved into her cell, and had a view through the bars down into the prison exercise yard - as well as a comfortable bed and wifi. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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Project leader Rob Hoogerwerf poses inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Project leader Rob Hoogerwerf poses inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Project leader Rob Hoogerwerf poses inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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An unidentified asylum seeker prays inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

An unidentified asylum seeker prays inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

An unidentified asylum seeker prays inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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View through a window of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. Last week the city announced that next year it will start redeveloping the whole area into a new "Bajes" neighborhood designed by the architecture firm OMA. That means the hotel will probably have to close on Jan. 2, though Hoogerwerf is hoping for an extension. 

REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View through a window of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. Last week the city announced that next year it will start redeveloping the whole area into a new "Bajes" neighborhood designed by the architecture firm OMA. That means the hotel will probably...more

View through a window of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. Last week the city announced that next year it will start redeveloping the whole area into a new "Bajes" neighborhood designed by the architecture firm OMA. That means the hotel will probably have to close on Jan. 2, though Hoogerwerf is hoping for an extension. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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Housekeeping manager Ella Delsanto talks with an unidentified asylum-seeker. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Housekeeping manager Ella Delsanto talks with an unidentified asylum-seeker. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

Housekeeping manager Ella Delsanto talks with an unidentified asylum-seeker. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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An unidentified asylum seeker stands inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

An unidentified asylum seeker stands inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

An unidentified asylum seeker stands inside the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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View of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares

View of the former Bijlmerbajes prison. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares
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