As the official website declares, this is one exhibition you won’t forget!
I couldn’t agree more!
A chilling testament to humanity’s darkest times, located in the historic ‘Palace of the Forgotten’ (Palacio de los Olvidados), this exhibition will take you through the history of torture in morbid details.
It certainly wasn’t my first choice of an entertaining afternoon, but having visited Granada four times already, this one was still on the ‘need to see’ list.
The museum is a very real representation of the cruelty humans are capable of and the importance of remembering history and the lessons we learned.
The Torture Exhibition: A Haunting Display
The Institution of the Spanish Holy Inquisition was established in Spain in 1478, with the goal of safeguarding a good practice of the religion. In 1492, the Catholic Monarchs conquered the Kingdom of Granada, and by the orders of the Inquisition, they forced out all the Jews and Muslims that did not convert to Catholicism.
The exhibition features exact replicas of torture instruments and artifacts from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, which were used both by the religious courts but also civil ones. A total of nearly 70 different instruments.
Right next to each one, you will find a detailed description of how the instrument was used, what crime it was used for, and even an illustration of how it was used.
In most cases, just looking at the illustrations made me super uncomfortable and made me wonder at the length people go to inflict pain on others.
Some of the most famous instruments were also included – the Iron Maiden, the Torture Rack and even the Judas Cradle. Some of these you will recognize from historic movies.
Here is a very brief photographic tour, there were too many things to take pictures of everything, and much of it too disturbing to put up online.
Check my comments at the end of the article if you’re unsure if this place is for you or not.
Why You Should Visit
While undoubtedly disturbing, this exhibition serves as a sobering reminder of the brutality that has stained human history.
The Palacio de los Olvidados aims to prevent historical amnesia by preserving the memory of the atrocities that occurred in the past. Being confronted with the grim reality of torture, you cannot help but reflect on the consequences of unlimited power, intolerance and the importance of protecting human rights.
The museum is set up in a way that’s educational, rather than trying to sensationalist or glorify violence.
While visiting, you will also learn about the historical context, and explore social norms and power dynamics that allowed this to happen.
A question you might ask yourself – can I take my kids there?
I was there with my 8 year old who didn’t pay attention to the illustrations but was just curious about what each of those things were. It doesn’t feel too real for kids or too scary if you don’t start reading the grueling details from the info cards to them.
The building is on a few floors, and there is no lift, so you have to park a pram by the ticket office. Sadly it’s also not wheelchair accessible.
Tickets to Inquisition Museum in Granada
The tickets are 7 euros per person and you can get them here.
Opening Hours & Location
Address: Cuesta de Santa Inés 6 (just off the main street by the river Darro in Albaicin)
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday from 10.30 am to 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm to 8.00 pm. Friday, Satuday and Sunday from 11am to 8pm.