If you have a sense of the macabre and like learning how human beings enjoy making others' lives miserable in the past, the Prague Torture museum might be right up your ally. However, your faint-of-heart travel companions might want to sit out this Prague attraction out at a cozy cafe or go shopping for Czech-made souvenirs. This Prague museum contains more than 60 devices of torture used in the Middle Ages from all over Europe, not only the Czech Republic. Each one is described in Czech, English, and other languages.
Information boards tell about torture in general, especially about witch hunts in medieval times.
The instruments of torture found in the museum include chastity belts (both male and female versions), iron maidens, and saws that were meant to separate bodies in half—lengthwise. Learn about the most excruciating ways that torturers maimed, inflicted pain on, and killed their victims in order to gain information or inspire them to admit to guilt. Other devices were profession or gender-specific, punishing bad musicians for their offensive art or stopping gossiping women from talking. When explanations won't suffice to enable the viewer to imagine the gory purpose of these devices, illustrations show how they were used.
The Torture Museum, because it is small, will only take between 30 to 45 minutes to tour. The museum is located in a basement dedicated to grisly learning about an aspect of Europe's inhumane past. If you have any imagination at all, you'll leave the museum feeling sympathy pains for the long-dead sufferers of the instruments and wonder for the nightmare-like variety of agony- and humiliation-inflicting objects that the museum contains.
To get the haunting images out of your head, consider finding a place to catch a birds-eye-view of Prague or seeking out some Czech Culture. If you'd like to continue to learn more about Prague, the Czech Republic, and some of the country's most important historical figures and time periods, consider visiting the Museum of Communism, the Mucha Museum, the Kafka Museum, or other museums. Or take a walk through Old Town, visit Castle Hill, explore Charles Bridge, or see the Jewish Quarter. The Torture Museum, while interesting, will likely only be a footnote on your visit to Prague, whether you're there for a day or a week.
You'll find the Torture Museum between Charles Bridge and Old Town Square. If you're in that area, most people will be able to point you in the direction you should go.
Křižovnické náměstí 1/194, Prague 1