Prison Gate, The Hague
And again I have to thank Sandra (Mique), this time for taking VTers on a tour through the Prisoner's Gate. Usually working there as a guide on Saturdays, this time she was VTers' private guide. So if you're there, you know whom to ask for a tour. :-)
Very interesting place where you can hear a lot of stories (sorry Sandra I don't believe in ghosts thought) and to see where poor and rich prisoners where held. Won't be a problem to notice the difference :-) Plus don't miss the opportunity to see the torture devices! And if you have a friend whom you'd like to torture yourself, you'll have this opportunity on your way out of the museum :-)
Prisoner's Gate or Gevangenpoort is an old prison turned into a museum. Here you can see how prison life was organised over the last few centuries. And you can also learn a lot on the most famous prisoner at this prison, Cornelis de Witt. Very interesting are also the torture devises, ranging from thumb screws to executioners swords.
The museum is opened from tuesdays to mondays from 11 to 5 and in weekends from 12 to 5. Admission is 3,60 Euro for adults.
We were lucky because we got the opportunity of a special tour around prison gate during the Den Haag VT meeting: Sandra (mique) works here so she gave us a funny private tour of this former prison with all its cells and torture chambers.
The tour starts with a film about the most famous prisoner who has "stayed" in the prison gate, Cornelis de Witt. It's in Dutch but subtitled in English. Afterwards you will get to see the cell for poor people and the more luxurious one for rich people as well as real torture "tools" and the torture cellar.
It sent me shivers down my spine to see the real swords that were used to cut people's throughts or whatever (I don't want to know the details really ;) and benches that were used to break people's bones to make them die.
It costs only € 3,60 to visit prison gate, a great value if you ask me. The tour takes about an hour and if you are lucky, maybe Sandra will be your guide, too! The tour starts at every full hour. Please note that taking pictures inside the prison gate is not allowed.
This museum is in a 14th century gatehouse and contains an old prison. This prison is still largely in original state and it contains a horrific torture instruments.
Cornelis de Witt was imprisoned here on suspicion of conspiracy against Prince Maurice. He was tortured in the hope he would confess. He and his brother Johan left the prison in 1672 and they were murdered by a mob.
The gate is decorated with the Dutch lion, this gate was originally the main gate of the 14th century castle of the counts of Holland.
There are guided tours in this old prison on the hour. Where people see the prison cells of the poor, the rich, the hostages but also the means of torture and execution. Tours are generaly in dutch but most guides give summaries in english if the group number allows for it and they will answer all questions. Besides that there are leaflets in several languages available that give descriptions of the areas that you visit.
And every now and then there are night tours with a specific theme and the place has a complete different ambiance then during the day. There is only room for 25 people per tour. Tickets are somewhere around 10 euro (but the price might have gone up by now)and can be bought in advance. It is not possible to make a reservation and usually it is sold out quickly... The night tours are always in dutch only.
The Gevangenpoort, or Prison Gate, actually was the the entrance gate of the Buitenhof and, through the Gevangenpoort you enter the Plaats. This part of The Hague is regarded as the oldest of town, where horrible events happened. It was used as prison from 1420 to 1828.
So if you do like horror, visit the Gevangenpoort, builded somewhere in the 14th century. It's for now a museum and can be of special interest to all those who want to know how the Dutch used to treat their prisoners and criminals in medieval times. You'll find an extensive collection of torture instruments.
Open: daily from 10.00 - 17.00
Saterday & Sunday 13.00 - 17.00
You need a guided tour, every whole hour.
It is 3.60 Euro, for 65+ 3.20 and children 2.70
This gate was the most famous famous prison of old Den Haag. Its most famous prisoners was Cornelis de Witt, the brother of Jan de Witt who was killed in 1672. Today it is a museum of torture which has also large exhibition about the DeWitt brothers.
We visited the museum Gevangenpoort in August 2007. Adults pay 4 euro and photography is not allowed inside the building. A very brutal political murder took place here in 1672. The victims were Dutch statesmen Jan and Cornelis De Witt.
Some time before our visit, I had already learned that a person involved in this political murder was a brother of one of my ancestors, by the name of Hendrik Verhoeff. His role in the affair, however, was played down somewhat in a book afterwards.
In the museum, we got to see the room where Cornelis de Witt was tortured and interrogated and we saw an interesting film on the subject (Dutch with English subtitles).
This is how Hendrik Verhoeff's family line traces all the way down to me:
I. Jan Pleunen Verhoeff
II. sons: Hendrik Verhoeff (involved in the murder of De Witt) and his brother Jan Jansz. Verhoeff (my ancestor)
III. son of Jan Verhoeff: Gijsbert Jansz. Verhoeff
IV. son: Jan Gijsbertz. Verhoeff
V. daughter: Antie Verhoeven (Verhoeff), married Jan van der Tier
VI. son: Henricus van der Tier
VII. son: Jan van der Tier
VIII. daughter: Steyntje van der Tier, married Christiaan Verkroost
IX. son: Dirk Verkroost
X. son: Willem Verkroost
XI. daughter: Wilhelmina Verkroost (my mother)
I have visited the old Prison in The Hague, oppsites the Parliment. When I enter the prison, I could smelled the very old smell of a very old building. When you are there, first you'd be entering a room to view the brief history of the old prison. The video is available in english language besides dutch.
After finished watching the brief history, a tour guide from the prison would guiding you around the prison and also explained what are those items were used for punishing those prisoners in those days.
Very interesting, worth a visit.
we could only take pictures outside and with mique as guide we behaved.
so no pictures inside the prisongate.
mique (sandra) gave us a great tour through the prisongate.
i also learned a bit about the history.
like the movie about the trial cornelis de witt.
also about how the tortured people here.
The Gevangenpoort (Prison Gate) is also a well-known point of interest in The Hague.
The Gevangenpoort is the place where two Dutch statesmen, Jan and Cornelis de Witt were murded in 1672. Nowadays it is a museum so you don't have to worry about your life anymore.
Guide tour to the Prison Gate by Sandra(mique) was so special. We learn a lot how justice was served then. I did not know that the Dutch was cruel? Torturers?