Prague Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments


I think every city of even modest size in Europe has at least one museum dedicated to the cruel and imaginative ways Europeans tortured one another during the Middle Ages. Prague, being a city that deals quite cannily with tourists, has a few torture museums. I’ve heard that many of the implements displayed in these types of museums were dreamed up mostly for the museums themselves, but I’m no scholar of medieval torture, so I can’t say. They seem believable enough to me, based on the research I’ve done of watching The Witchfinder General starring Vincent Price.

Anyway, of Prague’s multiple torture museums, I selected The Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments (Krizovnicke nam. 194/1, Prague Praha 1, Czech Republic) using the most scientific of criteria: it was near a lot of other stuff I wanted to do that morning, right at the foot of the fabled Charles Bridge. Despite the garish advertising, it’s a fairly sober and “historical” museum, with none of the gory wax dummies you expect and often get from such museums. Still, quite an interesting exploration of man’s dedication to creativity in pursuit of his dedication to inflicting pain on his fellow man (or more often, woman). Unfortunately, photography is not allowed in the museum. Fortunately, I didn’t see that sign until I was leaving.