Torture Museum, Amsterdam
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The Torture Museum, Amsterdam is a small museum located in the heart of Amsterdam, near the flower market (Bloemenmarkt) overlooking the Singel canal. Included in the list of the world's most unusual museums. It is a popular museum for tourists, The torture museum is one of the 50 museums in Amsterdam. A second museum related to the subject of torture in Amsterdam is the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments. This second museum has a different layout and is located in Damrak 33, close to the centraal station. The 2 museums are not connected.
The museum layout is of a maze of small, dark rooms. Each room houses one or two torture devices, some are behind glass but many are situated in the room and can be touched. Each device is accompanied with an enlarged image from an old book or article featuring that device in use and a description of that device and how and why it was used. All of the articles are in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish, catering to the diverse range of people who visit the museum. The dark lighting and theatrical design of the museum lightens the otherwise somber mood.
Articles on display
The museum features a variety of interesting devices, from well known objects like the Guillotine, the rack and the stocks, to lesser known objects like thumb screws and the flute of shame. Other objects housed in the museum include the iron maiden, skull crusher, judas chair, Catherine Wheels and Scold's bridle. Some of the devices are genuine and antique, but many are modern reconstructions from old texts or books.
The museum, whilst small has a large influence. The museum regularly appears in lists of 'the top weird museums' but also is regularly visited and sited in regards to the museum's extensive range of torture devices, many of which now inspire humor or become part of pop culture. Several books mention the torture museum, including Torture.
Visiting the Museum
Opening hours are 10 a.m. 11 p.m. daily, admission is €7,50 for adults and €4,00 for children. The museum does not offer any kind of student discount and does not accept museum passes. The museum contains a wide range of information on the history of torture and the use of torture devices, and has a variety of educational programs and tours.
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