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Medieval Crime and Punishment Musuem

The scenic town of Rothenburg, apart from being Germany's most charming, medieval village, contains one more star attraction especially for history buffs like yours truly.

Medieval Crime Museum

* What would have been any regular old building was made so much cooler with the presence of this Ducking Stool, a device used to punish dishonest traders and disorderly women. What could this building be?!




Medieval Crime Museum

* Why.. It's the unassuming entrance to Rothenburg's Medieval Crime Museum!

Medieval Crime Museum Entrance

* Exhibiting various instruments of torture, the museum also explains the context and tutorials for their use throughout history.

Torture Devices

* An early version of the torture rack where tension is used to dislocate and separate the arms and legs of victims.

Torture Devices

* And here's a more advanced version, adding the use of pulleys and levers. Innovative!

Torture Devices

* A not-so-comfortable chair used to extract confessions from suspected witches. Also jokingly referred to as the chair of the mother-in-law!

Torture Devices

* Part of the fun of being in this place is using one's imagination to guess the various torture style of the items found within.

Torture Devices

* An original copy of a book called, "The Theory of Torture." Kindle version not available. (or is it?)

Diorama Raised Pillory

* A diorama of a Raised Pillory, a device for securing the heads and hands of rowdy citizens, used for punishment and humiliation.

Gallery of Torture

* One of the more intriguing items in the museum was this illustration of an ancient German law narrating how a woman, who was allegedly wronged by a man, settled that dispute via handicapped combat! The winner would have been judged by God to have been in the right all along.

Gallery of Torture

* Like any other museum exhibit, except everything here refers to the various medieval crimes and their corresponding punishments!

Gallery of Torture

* Containing a wealth of information on correction methods, witch hunting procedures, jurisprudence, commentaries, and historical (and shocking) anecdotes.

Gallery of Torture

* These seemingly innocent hanging wood-art and metal etchings are actually summaries of notorious criminal cases in Bavarian lore. Kind of like antique editorial cartoons!

Torture Devices

* Come and have a seat! Just put your hands here, please...

Torture Diorama

* I personally enjoyed these dioramas (being an avid diorama fanatic, myself) showcasing a snapshot of what life was like back in the day. 

Gallows

* The penalty for stealing a loaf of bread for your family! Or not going to mass!

Gallery of Torture

* An illustration of what happened when a town borrowed money from a nobleman, and didn't pay it off. Jeez, times were rough!

Torture Diorama

* Taking my time admiring the intricacies of this other diorama set.

Torture Devices

* All that's missing here are the alligators circling the pillory!

Iron Maiden

* A genuine Iron Maiden (not the band)! Originally from Nuremburg, this torture chamber had rows of spikes on the door frames which pierced the body of the victim, who was unfortunately placed inside. Holy death, Batman! (literally...)

Torture Diorama

* A child getting the rod from his teacher, possibly for not sharing his porridge!

Weaponry

* Weaponry! To defend against foreign invaders, criminals, and ogres!

Medieval Heirarchy

* A very interesting diagram of the hierarchy of the Holy Roman Empire. See the Emperor on top and follow the noble trail downwards.

Torture Devices

* More weaponry! One can easily lose hours exploring this museum.

Torture Devices

* Iron shackles, ala the Man in the Iron Mask! (Leo DiCaprio version)

Executioner Hood

* One of the highlights of this visit was seeing the legendary Executioner's Hood. (not available in Zara)

Executioner Mask

* The Executioner's Mask.. which was even eerier than I imagined it to be, as it looks like it was made from human skin.

Executioner Axe

* And the Executioner's Axe, built for choppin' heads, logs, and bread!

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