The Torture Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Torture Museum
Photo by Sandeep Singh Thukral

The Torture Museum in Amsterdam is one of the most popular attractions in the city and proudly displays the rusted metal and rotting wood of ancient torture devices used in a time when justice was less than just. The dimly lit corridor walls of the museum are filled with prints in eight languages displaying the historic methods of criminal punishment.

A hanging cage on display was used for those of whom an example needed to be made. It was a particularly evil form of punishment that did exactly what the name implies. A person that committed a crime that was worthy of punishment but not necessarily death would be placed in a large metal cage and hung in a public place for all the world to see. This could also be used to slowly starve someone to death for.

The museum serves not just as a grisly reminder of how past crimes were carried out, but as a looking glass in the the inhuman measures people have been able to turn to in the name of justice. It must also be noted that not all of the torture methods displayed in the museum are from ancient history. The guillotine was in fact last used in an execution on September 10, 1977, four months after the movie Star Wars started playing in theaters.

The museum offers guided tours, but they it may be necessary to book them a week in advance. It’s not an entirely uncommon place for school field trips, and offers people of all ages an opportunity to critically analyze the use of the death penalty around the world today.

Torture Museum Facts

  • The “Punishments and Verdicts in the Middle Ages” exhibition includes more than 40 torture devices from throughout Europe
  • The Torture Museum is located at: Singel 449, 1012 WP Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Though the Torture Museum is one of the most popular attractions in the city, it is rarely considered among the best.
  • There is no connection between the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments and The Torture Museum. Despite them both being in Amsterdam.
  • Hours of operation  are 10:00 a.m. 11:00 p.m daily.