About the museum

The Prison Gate belongs to the most iconic buildings of The Hague, beautifully situated next to the Hofvijver. Originally, the Prison Gate was an entrance gate to the castle of the Counts of Holland. For many years after, this building served as a prison to the mighty Court of Holland. Nowadays the museum tells the story of crime and punishment across the centuries.

Here you can see and experience how people were treated in former times when being accused of criminal behaviour. What did their cells look like? Was there a difference between poor and rich prisoners? Where did they hear their verdict? And which punishments were given? Some important moments in Dutch history took place here, such as the murder of the brothers De Witt in 1672. The Prison Gate Museum opened its doors in 1882. Ever since, it has been home to the biggest collection of instruments of punishment and torture in the Netherlands.

Recommended by Lonely Planet & Tripadvisor

Quite an honour: in 2016, Lonely Planet included the Prison Gate Museum in its book 50 Museums to blow your mind. The famous travel guide placed the museum alongside the Acropolis and the Forbidden City in Beijing. The Prison Gate Museum has also been rewarded with a Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor in the past years.