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National Prison Museum

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Although the history of Veenhuizen goes back to 1381, it gained fame as a prison village since the construction of three large asylums for beggars, vagrants, and orphans. The Society of Beneficence took the initiative in 1823. Originally this was based on voluntary participation; over the years it became mandatory and later – after the take-over by the government in 1859 – in punishment. Three prisons in Veenhuizen are still in use.

The first Prison Museum was opened in 1975 in Veenhuizen by private initiative. The founder, sir C. Standhart, had been working from 1949 in the law department in Veenhuizen and had been collecting several curiosities that had to do with the history of Veenhuizen.

The National Prison Museum was established in 2005 in the fully renovated previous Second Asylum, which was built in 1823. This is the only asylum that has been preserved from the three original ones, although not in its original state. Besides, the reconstruction of the demolished ‘Fourth Wing’ is under investigation.
Since the move, the Prison Museum’s focus has widened from the history and the prison village alone to the whole history of crime and punishment in the Netherlands from 1600 to present.

The Prison Museum has, besides different interactive activities, for example a modern prison gate, many historic objects such as a rack, hand- and feet cuffs, a straitjacket, etcetera. There are cells and cell doors from different periods, an example of an exercise yard, and several examples of transport for detainees.
You can go on a tour with an original prisoner’s bus. Sometimes you can take a tour around the (empty) prison De Rode Pannen, which is located next to the museum, and around the former power station of Veenhuizen. Around the museum are other attractions, such as the hospital complex, the former steam mill, and the ecclesiastical buildings along the Kolonievaart.

Book a room at B&B / Hotel "Hoeve de Vredenhof"

Go to this and other touristic attractions and book a room at Hoeve “De Vredenhof” for a carefree and relaxing stay.

Oude Gracht 1, Veenhuizen 9341 AA
Telephone: 0592 - 388264