The Gevangenpoort (Prisoner's Gate) is a former gate and medieval prison on the Buitenhof. From 1420 until 1828, the prison was used for housing people who had committed serious crimes while they awaited sentencing.

Its most famous prisoner was Cornelis de Witt, who was held on the charge of plotting the murder of the stadtholder. He was lynched together with his brother Johan on 20 August 1672 on the square in front of the building.

In 1882, the Gevangenpoort became a prison museum. The 'gate' function was lost in 1923 when the houses adjoining the Hofvijver were taken down to build the street that now allows busy traffic to run by it.

Since 2010, museum visitors can view the restored art gallery that can be reached through a special staircase that connects the two buildings. The collection which hangs here is a modern reconstruction of the original 1774 art cabinet that was situated upstairs above the fencing school. The paintings are again upstairs, hanging crowded together on the walls in the style of the late 18th-century. In 1822 the collection was moved to the Mauritshuis which remains the formal owner of the paintings on display. During restoration activities, highlights of the permanent Mauritshuis collection have been temporarily displayed in the gallery.



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Buitenhof 33, Hague, Netherlands
See all sites in Hague


Founded: 1420
Category: Museums in Netherlands


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jurgen van Wichen (2 months ago)
Interesting to see how 'civilisation' was built... Cruel ...
curious2 learn (2 months ago)
A very well thought arrangement of viewing plan for the museum. A single story, about a maid being subjected to the judicial system in the past for supposed poisoning in food, guides the visitor to the various elements of the museum. We were given a tour by Mr. Han who was very passionate in his explanation and was very friendly.
Nicolas Morandi (6 months ago)
The museum is very set up. Plus, you get two audio guides that make the visit a lot more interesting
T N (7 months ago)
This museum is significant due to the historical events that took place here concerning the brothers De Witt in the 17th century. However, aside from this fact, I found the museum to be rather underwhelming. There’s not a lot to see since most rooms are mostly empty. The exhibit could be improved by including more information, narrative and historical objects. The first half of the museum focuses on a story about a servant who was prosecuted at the Gevangenpoort centuries ago. I didn’t find the story very engaging to be honest and seemed to be geared more towards a younger audience.
Tom T. (7 months ago)
Very interesting experience. Can definitely recommend this place if you are interested into history of law, prison and torture.
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