Hague, Netherlands

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

55 66 (11 months ago)
Small but quite interesting even if you don't really know a lot of history. The ticket price is a bit high comparing to the time you can spend in here (I spent an hour with listening all the audio guides).
serena ney (11 months ago)
Interesting Museum (€7,5 student, 1h visit). The audioguide is interesting, fun and certainly not boring. The displays of torture objects & chains are good and the dark cells really give you an idea of how terrible, lonely and painful it must have been to be locked inside. The screens with testimonies of different lawyers, defence attorneys, etc were very interesting. The route to follow might confuse you, but just ask the workers what else there is to see and they will direct you. The booklet they give you then helps you further understand the purposes of the different chambers. At the end I certainly didn't regret visiting this museum, and enjoyed myself :-)
Lim Han (2 years ago)
An amazing site to visit while in Den Haag. We got to walk through what used to be old prison cells, see the types of equipments used and follow a lady as her fate is determined. There are two parts to this museum. First, an audio guide around one part of the museum. In the second, we are given a booklet containing information about each of the rooms that we will be visiting in the other part of the museum.
Brian E (2 years ago)
Cleverly laid out, like two museums in one. The first part, with the characters of the time, gets a little silly, but the game at the end will prove you learned a lot. The second part really dives into the nature of prison and torture, the former serving only the latter and not as its own form of punishment. Worth the visit and price of admission.
Ajay Kumar (2 years ago)
It was a nice experience and this would help you to know about the History and the way punishments used to carry out. It’s not a huge building as it’s quite small as compared to other Jail buildings but still I recommend to visit this. Audio recordings are really helpful and the way they tell the stories is fantastic.
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