Do you want to have a day out in Amsterdam and as such, are you looking for an interesting and original museum in Amsterdam? Are you interested in Middle Ages and do you want to view an unusual exhibition? Or are you looking for an outing for a school, association or other group? Then come and visit the Torture Museum in Amsterdam? This unusual museum in Amsterdam provides a lively image of the painful past of the Middle Ages up to the French Revolution.
What does this painful past entail? Until a few centuries ago, every European city had a scaffold at the marketplace or a gallows field near the gate. In the Middle Ages, several instruments of punishment were used to punish people. At the Torture Museum, you can come and see what these instruments looked like and you will get extensive explanations and background information about how these instruments of punishment were used. Are you looking for an exciting and interesting museum in Amsterdam? Would you like a tour through the Torture Museum with a school group, association or another group? Then come and visit the Torture Museum in Amsterdam or book an online reservation for a group tour!
The painful past
Are you curious about the truth behind the painful past? Less than two centuries ago, all kinds of special devices and instruments were used to punish people, fight witchcraft or heresy and to exorcise demonic evil. Everyone has heard of the pillory or a scaffold in the middle of the marketplace, tightening the thumbscrews or hanging from the gallows. The disgusting stench surrounding the gallows, terrifying screams of agony on the rack, a cheering audience surrounding the scaffold, a revolting executioner… All these gruesome sights were a bitter reality less than two centuries ago.
Every European city
You could find racks and various instruments in every European city and under every city hall, which were a common method for sharp interrogations or to punish crimes. The work of an executioner was even an acknowledged craft! Behind every instrument of punishment that was used in the past is an unusual and gruesome story. In the Torture Museum in Amsterdam, you’ll find an extensive exhibition of all kinds of instruments of punishment which were used from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution. From the rack to the pillory and from the inquisitional chair to the gallows: every instrument had its own method and were used for different ‘crimes’. Using extensive historical background information, you’ll discover the painful truth about the past. Are you brave enough to see for yourself what the instruments of torture looked like in the Middle Ages? And are you curious about every gruesome story behind these instruments of punishment?
The Torture Museum in Amsterdam
In the Torture Museum in Amsterdam, you can come and visit the international exhibition ‘Punishments and Verdicts in the Middle Ages’. In this exhibition, more than 40 different types of instruments of punishment will be on display, which come from different parts of Europe. Every instrument of punishment has its own story and was used for different ends. For example, the gallows were used as a determent and signified the great power of the law. The gallows field was placed outside the city gate, so people would be deterred from committing crimes. A beheading by a sword or ax was a completely different story. In the Middle Ages, this was considered a relatively mild death penalty. Beheading was considered an honorable punishment, which was the privilege of the aristocracy: only a noble was considered capable of meeting death in a dignified manner.
Witchcraft and heresy
Witchcraft and heresy were considered to be an exceptional crime. To exorcise this demonic evil, a broad arsenal of instruments of punishment was used. Witchcraft, for example, was seen as a complete sin. People thought that not just the head, but the entire body was subjected to the devil and as such, the entire body had to be submitted to torture. For this, the inquisitional chair was used. The executioner is also a well-known figure from the Middle Ages. The work of an executioner was an acknowledged profession and as such, the executioner made for a frightening warning signal in the Middle Ages. Despite it being an acknowledged craft, executioners and their families were seen as the pariahs of society. Yet there was always a cheering audience present was something was harshly, but ‘justly’ punished on the scaffold in the middle of the market place. And there are plenty of other instruments of punishment, which all have their own gruesome tale. The exhibition ‘Punishments and Verdicts in the Middle Ages’ in the Torture Museum in Amsterdam shows the truth as it was less than two centuries ago. In the Middle Ages, these revolting instruments of punishment were used to set gruesome examples. The governments of the European cities in the Middle Ages used them to demonstrate their right of possession over the bodies and lives of their subjects. Many people still find the instruments of punishment from the Middle Ages gruesome and revolting… In that regard, the governments of the cities in the Middles Ages definitely achieved their intended effect!
Are you looking for an interesting but gruesome exhibition? Do you want to learn more about the painful past of the Middle Ages? And are you looking for a museum in Amsterdam? Then come and view the exhibition at the Torture Museum in Amsterdam and see for yourself what things were like in the Middle Ages! We offer schools, associations and other groups the opportunity to get to know Europe’s painful past. Our exhibition is accompanied by historical background information and, if desired, you can book a group tour online.
The exhibition ‘Punishments and Verdicts in the Middle Ages’ at the Torture Museum in Amsterdam provides a disturbing image of the corporal punishments, the sharp interrogations and fighting crime in the Middle Ages: from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution, every time period has its own methods and instruments. For students of around 10 years old and up, there’s an educational handout available. Do you have any questions or do you want more information about the Torture Museum? Then feel free contact to us! You can reach us by calling +31 (0)20 320 6642 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Are you ready to discover the truth behind the painful past?