Prison Gate Museum
Prison Gate Museum
4
Speciality MuseumsHistory Museums
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
In the year 1280 AD, the gate to the outer courtyard or Buitenhof served as the main entrance to the castle of the Counts of Holland, known as the Binnenhof today. In 1428, this ‘Front Gate to the Court’ also became a prison. It was where defaulters were incarcerated and suspected criminals awaited their trials. It was a prison for four hundred years. The Prison Gate has been a museum since 1882. Ever since, it has been home to the biggest collection of instruments of punishment and torture in the Netherlands.
Duration: < 1 hour
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  • FamilyPeoples
    Birmingham, United Kingdom40 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very interesting, well presented.
    Fascinating insight into The Hague history. Interesting to see the old buildings and cells which are well preserved, with good explanations of what they were used for. Striking to see the difference in rooms that were used for the rich and poor. Quite a small museum - took about an hour to visit. Some interesting, unpleasant torture instruments. This was a holding area for people awaiting trial, or being interrogated, as opposed to a location for punishment - corporal and capital punishment took place opposite, in public. Paintings in the museum give an insight into how The Hague looked in the past.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 5, 2023
  • aNGeL0FdEAth
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates433 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting
    Prison gate was in my bucket list for quite a while. Got a thing for the Witt brothers and this place is one of the landmarks I wanted to visit. It isn't a big place. I guess not many prisoners were hosted. However, it was nice to see how prisoners were housed based on their ranks and as such. Very few exhibits but they were well presented. I liked the torture chamber and the guillotine. Definitely holds a lot of history. The drawings made by the prisoners are still there. I guess, quite a lot of sorrow went into them.
    Visited August 2022
    Written July 27, 2023
  • tedonmaui
    Trang Province, Thailand12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Grim Immersion in Dutch Crime and Punishment
    You'll never commit a felony after visiting the cells, and punishments, at Prison Gate. Perfectly preserved, down to the prisoners' Dutch cell graffiti this was an eye-opener. The staff are young and delightful, even the guards. This is a slice of life that brings the Rembrandt-era to life.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written April 6, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles457 reviews
Excellent
148
Very good
209
Average
74
Poor
15
Terrible
11

Alicia
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2020 • Family
Today, following the new rules to visit museums, I made a reservation for four people to visit the Gevangenpoort museum. Although I made the reservation successfully with our museumkaarts in the museum website, I did not received an e-mail with the reservation details.

At the entrance I explained the situation to the security guard but he did not allow us to enter to the museum.

I am very disappointed about the way this situation was handled. The security guard did not even try to check if the reservation was in the system and made me accountable for the malfunctioning of the museum reservation system.

My advice for those who decide to buy a ticket in advance for this museum is to be careful with your confirmation, since the security guard will not move a finger to proof if the reservation was processed in the reservation system.
Written June 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Trek785517
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Solo
I was there today for a tour. I had no preconceived ideas about the attraction at all. One thing I can tell you for certain is it is haunted. Floor 2 specifically where the poorer prisoners were kept. Very heavy atmosphere, I got dizzy and nauseous and saw a brief light flash in the dark prison cell out of the corner of my eye. Just a quick flash. I was standing there all alone, no one was around me. The other rooms were okay, but floor 2, not so much. I mentioned it to one of the guides. He said he was sensitive to it also. Otherwise an interesting attraction. Brutal, but that is the history as it was.
Written August 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tedonmaui
Trang Province, Thailand12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
You'll never commit a felony after visiting the cells, and punishments, at Prison Gate. Perfectly preserved, down to the prisoners' Dutch cell graffiti this was an eye-opener. The staff are young and delightful, even the guards. This is a slice of life that brings the Rembrandt-era to life.
Written April 7, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

aNGeL0FdEAth
Dubai, United Arab Emirates433 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Prison gate was in my bucket list for quite a while. Got a thing for the Witt brothers and this place is one of the landmarks I wanted to visit.

It isn't a big place. I guess not many prisoners were hosted. However, it was nice to see how prisoners were housed based on their ranks and as such. Very few exhibits but they were well presented. I liked the torture chamber and the guillotine.

Definitely holds a lot of history. The drawings made by the prisoners are still there. I guess, quite a lot of sorrow went into them.
Written July 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Schonefeld
Jakarta63,920 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Solo
Hello

Visited Gevangenpoort Museum ( Prison Gate) in September 2017.

I just love the unusual museums where you can learn things that you have never known before and be entranced in the atmosphere of the place and history it represents.

Our visit to the Prison Gate Museum included a guided tour by default. This is because the cell complex can only be viewed with an official guide. All tours are in Dutch only, but audio guides in English are available ( included into the ticket price) , plus several brochures with the text in other languages. You can also book a private guided tour in English by prior request and extra fee, you have to contact the museum in advance. The first tour starts at 10:45 a.m. and the last tour starts at 3:45 p.m.
Unfortunately the narrative in my English audio guide was about 1/6th of what the guide was telling in Dutch and few English speaking visitors ( including me) were in the unfavorable position from the provided information point of view. We felt a bit excluded from the group communication.
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. The museum uses the old historic structure and the extensive collection of judicial instruments to show the views society held on crime and punishment until the nineteenth century.
From 1420 until 1828, the prison was used for housing people who had committed serious crimes while they awaited sentencing. Communal underground cells, women`s cells, interrogation rooms, judge rooms, Torture Chamber etc...all are parts of the tour.

Its most famous prisoner was Cornelis de Witt - our guide told us the fascinating story of his prominent figure in the Holland`s history: his imprisonment, famous prison break and following execution - he was held ( we visited his private cell in the attic) 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 of Gevengenpport.

In 1882, the Gevangenpoort became a prison museum and functioning as such since then. Prices ( as of 2017)
Adults € 10,00 € 12,50
Children aged 12 and under € 6,00

Highly recommended.

regards

S
Written October 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Schonefeld, Thank you for taking the time to review us. We are happy to hear you enjoyed your visit to the Prison Gate Museum. I will forward your feedback about the length of the audioguide. We hope to see you again! Kind regards, Romy Meijer Prison Gate Museum
Written November 20, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Stephen P
Ilford, UK172 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
De Gevangenpoort is a prison gate museum that's attached to the Galerij Prins Willem V. The combined ticket is €10 for an adult or free with a museum card. The visit starts with the Gevangenpoort prison tour, which leaves every 15 minutes from the main entrance courtyard. Note that the tour and galleries have a lot of stairs so this is not suitable for wheelchair users. They also suggest that the tours are not suitable for under 10s. The tours are conducted in Dutch only, which I found surprising for a tourist attraction in a major European city; however, we were the only non-Dutch-speaking visitors on that tour so maybe that's fair enough. In lieu of being able to follow everything, we were given an English pamphlet which gave us pretty much a word-for-word translation of the tour (judging from the amount of Dutch I could understand). The tour guide was very enthusiastic and gave a fun tour of the gruesome prison building from the cells to the torture chamber.

After the tour, you have two choices: (1) to continue through the rest of the Gevangenpoort galleries or (2) visit the Prince Willem V gallery. I've numbered them this way because that's the order I would recommend, based on the layout of the complex.

To enter the rest of the Gevangenpoort galleries (down the stairs by the ticket desk) you have to gain access by scanning your ticket's barcode at the door. The exhibition didn't really add much to what was said on the tour but housed a few artefacts related to the prison (all labelled in Dutch only). After about three rooms (and three sets of stairs) you find yourself at the bridge joining the Gevangenpoort to the Prince William V galleries (see separate review).

Overall, for €10, I would have expected to see a little more. However, I expect it costs a lot to maintain the building. If you don't speak Dutch and you'd be satisfied reading the pamphlet and/or have a museum card, then by all means go ahead and visit, but there are better value museums in the Hague, such as the Escher museum.
Written December 9, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

G J F
London, UK321 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Couples
The gallery, bursting with paintings is rather small, too many paintings, badly displayed, The film shown is worth seeing.
Written August 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hugh M
Eindhoven, The Netherlands6 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Friends
We bought combined tickets for the prison museum and the adjoining gallery. Our guided tour of the museum started at 15.45 and was due to last until 16.30. At the ticket counter, no mention was made of the closing time of the gallery, which we were supposed to visit after the guided tour of the museum; nor was the language of the tour mentioned. Our (elderly male) guide announced that the tour would be in Dutch, which was a problem for my companion. English speakers were told that they could follow what he was saying in their guide books. He was prepared to answer questions in English. Thereafter, he randomly switched languages in mid-sentence, causing confusion to many. He rambled on until 16.55, at which point I was informed that the gallery closed at 17.00. I asked for a refund, which was awarded after some discussion. We should have been warned that it would be difficult to achieve both objectives, and the guide should have been more aware of the shortage of time. Poor organization!
Written May 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Goatie999
6 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Couples
I get the feeling from the laughter and smiles that there were some good stories being given by the tour guide but not being a dutch speaker and it being the only tour available (all tours of the prison are guided), we felt a little left out. There is a small guide available (free) for other languages to describe what each room was for but it's a little sparse on info.
Written May 6, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anthony G
Shanghai, China793 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Couples
The Prison Gate Museum (Museum de Gevangenpoort) is situated adjacent and combined with The Prince William V Gallery (Galerij Prins Willem V). The gatehouse dates back to the 15th century and was in use till the 19th century. The purpose of the premises was not a prison, but suspects and criminals were incarcerated, tried, tortured, punished and executed here. Two centuries later we call ourselves civilized, but these practices are unfortunately still common in too many countries around the world. Torture instruments are at display; maybe the prison is not suitable for (very) young children. Booked tours are mainly in Dutch!
Written July 21, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Prison Gate Museum, The Hague

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