Scary and amazing. Peculiar and informative. Important and irrelevant. While you are in Zagreb and in its city center, this small (by its surface) museum can be an option for an hour or two. Visiting the main square, most-visited touristic attractions, crowded streets etc. Sounds familiar? Yes, for many cites. Well that can happen in Zagreb as well but then, in one moment you just slide in the past. Dark past. As we say the Dark Ages have its own museum in many cities, but in Zagreb, in the Museum of Torture (Tortureum) they oriented the exhibition towards torture and torture tools.
It was a great spring day and we were in Zagreb's tram number 12. Somehow, the tram was full of tourists, some of them spoke a language that we (me and my friends) didn't understand. After a short conversation they told us that they are from India and that they are very interested in museums in Zagreb. "Well, we as well", I said. After a few stations one of them asked us where is Radićeva Street and where they find and see Museum of Torture. I was surprised because I didn't know that that museum even existed. But there it is - in Radićeva street, number 14; inside the triangle between Archaeological Museum, Museum of Illusions and Zagreb City Museum and just a few minutes from ban Josip Jelačić's Sqaure is where you can find the Museum of Torture.
We got off the tram and with our new friends went to Radićeva street. It's a colorful street full of bars where locals have their coffee, tourists take photos, a street filled with shops and restaurants... And one "dark door". We found the museum – it was the one with house number 14. It’s a small one and yes it’s dark. And a bit scary. On the other hand, it’s a place where you can learn about other side of history; let’s say a less-known side. All the explanations are in English and Croatian and more details about it you will find out from the great museum staff. The most prominent piece is a guillotine from the 18th century within other 70 full-scale instruments. Besides these, you can see an iron maiden (no, it’s the band we all know), a medieval torture device. If you want you can experience a minute in a dungeon. All in all, this was and it is one specific experience but, after visiting it I’ll recommend you to visit some of the bars in the city centre, just to cool down and bring some colors.
Let me finish with very nice quote from this museum:
The Museum’s aim is also to help the visitor realize that our own increasingly vulnerable existence is daily subjected to various forms of visible and invisible torture, from school bullying and workplace mobbing to domestic violence, in order to make torture eventually become just a part of human history presented in a museum.
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