Ushuaia really got it's start as a prison colony. In 1896 the prison in Ushsuaia received its first inmates, mainly re-offenders and dangerous prisoners transferred from Buenos Aires but also some political prisoners. The town grew around the prison and inmates. The prison population became forced colonists and spent much of their time building the town with timber from the forest around the prison. You can visit the old prison and learn about the history and lives of specific inmates in this cold inhospitable location.