Czech Republic, Europe, Prague

Why Torture Yourself When The Museum Of Torture Will Do It For You?

January 25, 2011
Museum Of Torture

Frommers recently published a list of the world’s most romantic cities and Prague, Czech Republic made the cut.

A visit to Praha (as it’s known to locals) will melt and soften even the coldest and hardest of hearts. A nighttime stroll across the Charles Bridge, a cruise down the Danube river, a visit to Petrin Gardens are just some ways that anyone (single or coupled) can enjoy the romance of this beautiful Eastern European city.

A Nighttime Walk Across The Charles Bridge Offers Views Of The Lit Up Prague Castle

What many don’t know is that Prague has a “dark side” and offers sites of interest that would entertain those with more unusual and eccentric tastes.

Take for example, the Sex Machines Museum. What will you find there exactly? The museum’s web site sums it up quite nicely:

It is an exposition of mechanical erotic appliances, the purpose of which is to bring pleasure and allow extraordinary and unusual positions during intercourse.  On an area of three floors there are more than 200 objects and mechanical appliances on view, a gallery of art with erotic themes, a cinema with old erotic films, erotic clothing and many other things pertaining to human sexuality.

Maybe you’re a history buff, especially fascinated with the middle ages?  Take yourself to the Museum Of Torture, conveniently located in the heart of Prague, beside Old Town Square, close to the Charles Bridge, the Astronomical Clock and many other tourist attractions.

Museum Of Torture

For 150 Czech Krona (approximately $8.50 Canadian or €6.50 Euros), you can view over 60 barbaric devices used during the middle ages to illicit confessions and punish those found guilty of criminal/religious offenses. Each of the devices are explained on informational boards in both English and Czech.

The museum is appropriately situated in a dimly lit underground cave and as you make your way through the exhibit, sounds of agonized screams can heard while menacing music plays, all lending to an overall spooky experience.  As the museum’s space is quite small, you can complete your tour in approximately 45 – 60 minutes.

Some of the items in the collection include chastity belts, items that men would “gift” to their wives or daughters while they were away at war, ensuring their faithfulness.

Chastity Belts

There are heavy iron masks which petty criminals would be forced to wear for a specified period of time. These masks would identify them as criminals wherever they went and ensure bad treatment from others. Some of these masks actually had spikes on the inside, painfully piercing those who wore them.

Masks Worn By Petty Criminals

Also featured is the classic guillotine used to cut off people’s heads.

Guillotine

One of the most astonishing pieces is the “Iron Maiden“, a chamber used to enclose a human being.  Once inside victims were either slowly tortured or killed using spikes, knives and nails, all while they were standing.

Iron Maiden (Not The Band)

To see more photos from this exhibit, view my Flickr set.

This is not a fun place. It’s not for children. In fact, there are many adults who won’t be able to complete the tour without rushing through. As many online reviews have stated, The Museum of Torture is not for the “faint of heart“.

While interesting, it serves as a grim reminder of how poorly humans can treat one another.  As you look at the devices and read about how they were used, you’ll cringe.  You may even cry. You’ll wonder how people could have taken pleasure from the torture and murder of others. You’ll leave thankful our society evolved past the dark ages.

Are you interested in seeing other lesser known sites in Prague? Check out this great list of Top Alternative Things To Do In Prague. Maybe you’re keen to learn about other weird museums just like the The Museum of Torture?  Read this blog post about the World’s Weirdest Museums.

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Museum of Torture Prague

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7 Comments

  • Reply Chris - The Aussie Nomad January 30, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I meant to visit the museum of torture but ran out of time in Prague. I don’t however ever remember seeing the sex machines museum. Sounds like I missed a couple of rather interesting museums.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 30, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Indeed you did!

      Funny, I wasn’t seeking out the the Museum of Torture and stumbled across it while I was exploring Prague one afternoon. I thought it seemed interesting and ended up buying a ticket to see the exhibit. I didn’t even know about the Sex Machines museum until I did research for this post. I’ll see it the next time I return to Prague. 😉

  • Reply Laurel January 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Uggh! Hard to believe such a museum exists, the Iron Maiden is especially hard to stomach. Thank goodness we live in modern times!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 30, 2011 at 2:05 pm

      Agree. The Iron Maiden is horrifying! 🙁

      Sad thing is that torture practices still exist today. Maybe they should build a museum to shame the people guilty of current crimes. (i.e – countries who sanction women being stoned to death, other countries who practice water boarding to illicit information from detainees … )

  • Reply Dina February 12, 2011 at 4:24 am

    I’ve never been to Prague, the only thing I now about the city is from gorgeous pics. It’s fun to see the other side of it. How do they supposed to pee (or doing #2) when they are wearing the chastity belt?

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 12, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      Prague is a beautiful city! You should definitely visit if you ever get a chance. 🙂

      I love looking for offbeat things like this when I’m traveling and this museum certainly fit the bill.

      As far as how one is supposed to perform the calls of mother nature while wearing a chastity belt, that I don’t really know! Unfortunately, my cursory Google searches did not reveal anything in the least bit scholarly … it most certainly would have been a “challenge”.

  • Reply The World’s Weirdest Museums :: Monkeys and Mountains May 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    […] Museum of Torture, Prague, Czech Republic Submitted by:  Cheryl Howard of cherylhoward.com The Museum of Torture has a collection of medieval torture devices used to torture and often kill people in medieval times.  This museum is not for the faint of heart, but it does make for an interesting way to learn about a part of  medieval history you don’t often hear about.  For more info see:  Why Torture Yourself When the Museum of Torture Will Do It For You? […]

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