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It is hard to imagine that such a beautiful place was once home to a prison that locked up violent criminals, but that was the case in Ataúro. In 1520, the Portuguese developed the island as a penal colony for their colonial rule. With the long swim back to the mainland and the out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality, Ataúro’s remoteness made it an easy choice for the empire’s felons. However, even after the Portuguese were expelled, the Indonesians had a similar idea for the island’s use. In Vila, you can see the remains of the prison.

If you are a history buff with a penchant for complicated histories, be sure to visit Vila to see firsthand the prison used during the Indonesian occupation to hold Timorese rebels.


If you are interested in learning more about this point of intereset use the form below to contact the Atkoma Tourism Office

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