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Museum of Torture

This intriguing museum highlights the callousness of humans via displays of authentic and gruesome torture devices from around the world.

Glimpse into the ghastly criminal activities and torture methods of the Middle Ages at the Museum of Torture (Museo della Tortura). Discover a collection of around 100 machines and tools, complete with life-like human models, which were once used to inflict pain and death on felons. The Museum of Torture highlights the atrocities of human nature while presenting a compassionate insight into the differing beliefs of a bygone era and modern democracy.

The museum holds valuable artifacts from the 16th to 18th centuries in addition to recreations of medieval-era apparatus. These artifacts take you on a journey through the history of the mercilessness of humankind. With many of the exhibits you’ll find information signs and diagrams that explain how the devices were used. Note how some were simple and others both imaginative and complex.

Gaze in amazement at the Heretic’s Fork, popularized during the time of the Spanish Inquisition. The two forks, facing in opposite directions, would cause simultaneous and long-lasting suffering to the victims chin and chest. Shiver at the thought of being locked inside the Iron Maiden, an iron sarcophagus with spikes fixed to its interior.

Other terrifying objects include the Mask of Infamy, used to humiliate wrongdoers. Torturers would attach the mask to the victims face and then chain them to a post for members of the general public to abuse them. Severe pain came from the Cradle, a pointed pyramid over which victims were lowered until sensitive areas of the body were penetrated.

The museum has displays of more common torture methods, too. Among these are the garrote and guillotine.

The Museum of Torture sits at the southern entrance to San Gimignano’s walled old town. It’s a short walk from popular town attractions such as Piazza della Cisterna and Piazza Duomo.

You can visit the museum daily in summer and on weekends in winter. The museum’s admission fee includes entry to the Museum of the Death Penalty (Museo della Pena di Morte).


Top Hotel Deals

See all 3,356 Properties near Medieval Criminal and Torture Museum
Relais Santa Chiara Hotel £108
Relais Santa Chiara Hotel

Relais Santa Chiara Hotel

Via Giacomo Matteotti, 15, San Gimignano, SI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly San Gimignano hotel is located in the historical district, within a 15-minute walk of Historical Torture Museum, Rocca of Montestaffoli and Museum San Gimignano 1300. San Gimignano Communal Palace and Medieval Criminal and Torture Museum are also within 15 minutes.

    La Cisterna £80
    La Cisterna

    La Cisterna

    Piazza Della Cisterna 23, San Gimignano, SI
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in San Gimignano City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Piazza della Cisterna, Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta and Casa e Torre Campatelli. Torre Grossa and San Gimignano Communal Palace are also within 5 minutes.

      Relais Cappuccina Ristorante Hotel £69
      Relais Cappuccina Ristorante Hotel

      Relais Cappuccina Ristorante Hotel

      Loc La Cappuccina 46/a, San Gimignano, SI
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly San Gimignano hotel is located in a rural location, within 1 mi (2 km) of Sant'Agostino Church and Archaeological Museum - Spezieria Santa Fina - Raffaele De Grada Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery. Rocca of Montestaffoli and Vernaccia di San Gimignano Wine Museum are also within 2 miles (3 km).

        Hotel Leon Bianco £71
        Hotel Leon Bianco

        Hotel Leon Bianco

        Piazza Della Cisterna 13, San Gimignano, SI
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in San Gimignano City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Medieval Criminal and Torture Museum, Galleria Continua and Torre Rognosa. Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta and Piazza della Cisterna are also within 5 minutes.

          B&B Palazzo Tortoli £104
          B&B Palazzo Tortoli

          B&B Palazzo Tortoli

          Piazza Della Cisterna 22, San Gimignano, Provincia di Siena
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in San Gimignano City Centre, this townhouse accommodation is steps away from Piazza della Cisterna, Medieval Criminal and Torture Museum and Galleria Continua. Casa e Torre Campatelli and Torre Rognosa are also within 5 minutes.

            Al Pozzo dei Desideri
            Al Pozzo dei Desideri

            Al Pozzo dei Desideri

            Piazza Della Cisterna 32, San Gimignano, SI
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in San Gimignano City Centre, this historic townhouse accommodation is steps away from Medieval Criminal and Torture Museum, Galleria Continua and Piazza della Cisterna. Casa e Torre Campatelli and Torre Rognosa are also within 5 minutes.

              Agriturismo Le Rote
              Agriturismo Le Rote

              Agriturismo Le Rote

              Località Ponte alle Ruote, San Gimignano, SI
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in San Gimignano City Centre, this agritourism property is steps away from Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Torre Grossa and Medieval Criminal and Torture Museum. Piazza Duomo and Piazza della Cisterna are also within 5 minutes.

                B&B Ridolfi
                B&B Ridolfi

                B&B Ridolfi

                Piazza della cisterna, 30, San Gimignano
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in San Gimignano City Centre, this bed & breakfast is steps away from Piazza della Cisterna, Medieval Criminal and Torture Museum and Galleria Continua. Casa e Torre Campatelli and Torre Rognosa are also within 5 minutes.