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.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Address

Buitenhof 33, Hague, Netherlands
See all sites in Hague

Details

Founded: 1420
Category: Museums in Netherlands

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mary Pieprzyca (18 months ago)
That's amazing place for people who like not the most typical museum to see and who are intrested in history. That's kind of experience not for all.
mohammed abo rass (2 years ago)
Great experience, the tour guide only speaks dutch , but you can pick one of the translation headphones, but that would reduce the quality of your experience
Marina Geldenhuys (2 years ago)
Four stars because the English audio guide falls flat. If you can understand Dutch a bit I’d recommend listening to the tour guide rather than the audio guide. Much richer description, far more detail about the history.
ChroniↃ OG (2 years ago)
Short and fast tour. Attended one on Dutch language with English audio( English language tours are available too at appropriate times). For my taste a little bit too short and too fast tour. Price is affordable and is 10 Euro per person.
Harry K (2 years ago)
Amazing place, a historical must-see. Tours in English are also available, call them to check the schedule. Great insight into the medieval legal system, living conditions of inmates as well as a room which served as the classy cell for the upper-class prisoners. The tour ends with a detailed explanation of the torture methods and devices used back in the day, in the actual room where the torture took place. Definitely not a place for children or younger visitors.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Externsteine Stones

The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.

In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.

The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.

The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.