Throughout history, there have been a range of methods used to punish the guilty or torture suspects. In Prague, you can come face to face with some of the infamous devices you’ve only read about. There were no swift deaths or attention paid to being humane ”“ medieval times were all about inflicting the slowest and most painful of deaths. In this article, you will learn more about the museum and its exhibits.
There are more than 60 devices of torture offered at the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments in Prague that date back to the Middle Ages. The items on display come from all over Europe, where descriptions come translated in Czech, English, and other languages. Information boards are situated throughout the museum that elaborate on torture methods in general and pay special attention to the witch hunts that took place during the Middle Ages.
Some of the torture instruments that visitors encounter include:
”¢ Chastity belts for both men and women
”¢ Iron maidens ”“ This torture device was basically a hollow cabinet made out of iron that had a hinged front that was tall enough to accommodate a human being inside. As the doors to the device were slowly closed, sharp spikes would enter the victim’s body. If someone was left inside long enough, they would slowly bleed to death.
”¢ Head crusher ”“ When a victim was subjected to the head crusher, their chin was situated on a wooden or iron support, while the device’s cap was screwed down on his or her head. One of the first things crushed on the victim were their teeth and jawbone. Eventually, the pressure would increase and the brain tissue would actually start to come out of the skull.
”¢ Saws that were used to cut bodies in half ”“ in a lengthwise manner
”¢ The Iron Shoe ”“ By the end of the 17th century, the Austrians invented the Iron Shoe. A screw was used to shorten a shoe attached to a victim. This was a tool used for public punishment, where criminals were made to walk about the streets wearing a bell to call the attention of onlookers.
”¢ The Frocks of Penance ”“ Some people had to wear robes that served as punishment for small violations or by people condemned to death. The material was decorated with demoniac scenes or inscribed with the crimes that an individual had committed.
”¢ Mask of Infamy ”” Sometimes, criminals were made to wear this odd headdress that sometimes resembled the head of a pig or the Devil.
The overall museum is small and typically takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete a tour. It is located between Charles Bridge and Old Town Square. When you interested in visiting the Prague Torture Museum, you will find the attraction at:
Address: KÃ¸iÅ¾ovnickÃ© nÃ¡m. 1/194, Prague 1
Phone: +420 723 360 479
Hours: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.