This is one of the best museums I visited! And I found it by accident while walking in the old city.
It’s located in one of the oldest European prisons, and it has such a rich collection of artifacts and reenactment of torture scenes that it brings you chills down your spine. In order to access the museum, you need to go down a flight of stairs. And at the entry, there is a reaper with a « guillotine » site.
Ironically the owner welcomes everybody with candy and is super nice and very insightful on the museum history, creation and content.
The museum details the history of « justice » in the city throughout the centuries with a collection of torture instruments, a description of the methods used. Its very chilling to see to what extent humans would go to torture each other and the level of dedication to inflict pain.
Also almost every torture scene is presented using wax dolls and there is a horror-like ambiance that makes it look too real. I kept on thanking god to be born in this century and not the one depicted in this museum, and to be honest I personally got spooked and was scared to use the bathroom 😀
One of the goals of this museum is to retrace how the justice system evolved and to display how judges used torture as a legal « weapon ». In a section, the logic behind the witchcraft hunt, suspicion and torture is edifying and revolts once spirit. The only feeling I got through my visit is : « What the fuck was wrong with these people??? »
Within the museum, there are many posters written in French, Dutch,English and in some cases Spanish, providing information on that century state of the society, how the torture method was used, on whom and for what reason. Some of them are very ridiculous and sadly some are still in use. There even is a section dedicated to the death sentence and the current state of it as well as the state of torture worldwide, there is a map that shows what countries use it as a legal way to gather information.
I put together a Vlog to show you the inside of the museum 😀
Some practical information about the museum:
- Website: https://torturemuseum.be
- Opening hour: Everyday from 10.30 AM until 18.30 PM
- Prices: 8e for adults and 6e for students
- The lovely gentleman at the door speaks French, Dutch and English 😀