The Prison Museum tells you all about the consequences of deviant behaviour. Stories about poverty, crime and punishment. Stories that make you look at freedom in a different way, that pique your curiosity and that make you think. We give you the opportunity to take it all in and challenge you to form an opinion. One thing that’s certain, is that you’ll leave the Prison Museum with more knowledge than when you arrived.
Crime and punishment
Crime and punishment have always existed, but our method of punishment has changed considerably over the centuries. Do you know what a prison used to look like? And how prisoners were dealt with? You’ll discover all about punishments of the past and present at the Prison Museum. You’re free to wander about and see things like the sleeping cages, a panopticon and a modern prison cell block. Curious about what prison is like now? Meet five people who have committed crimes and follow them during their arrest,
conviction and imprisonment.
Children 12 and under €4,75
Children 4 and under free
Parking is free
Tuesday- Sunday 10.00 am -5.00 pm
We’re also open on Mondays during school holidays
Text and audio in the museum are in Dutch. A free English-language audio tour is provided. In this audio tour historical figures bring history to life with their own perspective on the custodial sentences. They guide you through the museum in an informative and playful manner.
The Prison Bus transported tens of thousands of prisoners between their cells and work. The bus now travels through Veenhuizen once again and passes by the prisons which are still in use and the many historic buildings in the village. A guide tells you all about the village along the way. Hop on! The Prison Bus drives every Wednesday between 14.00 – 15.00 h. and every Sunday afternoon between 12.00 – 16.00 h. During school holidays the bus drives every afternoon.
The ‘Red Roof Tiles’
What does a real prison look like from the inside? You’ll find out in the ‘Red Roof Tiles’, a prison next to the Prison Museum. Take a look at the cells, the solitary confinement area and the exercise yard. A guide tells you all about the daily life in this infamous prison. Guided tours of ‘The Red Roof Tiles’ take place from Tuesday to Sunday between 12.00-16.00 h. During school holidays you can take a guided tour every day between 11.00-16.00 h. The opening hours can be subjected to change.
Especially for children
The curse of Veenhuizen
Mysterious papers have been found in the Prison Museum which tell a centuries-old story. A story about Gaius, who is madly in love with Marieke. But … Gaius is cursed and forever locked in a hidden cell. Will you help Gaius to lift the curse? The Curse of Veenhuizen is suitable for children from 7 to 12 years. Only available in Dutch
Tall Leo is our charming prison crook. He is hiding in a lot of different places in the museum and secretly hopes that you’ll find him. There is a fun map for you and your (grand)parents, full of short stories about prisons in the past and present, that helps you in your search. Only available in Dutch and German.
Stop by our cosy café-restaurant, enjoy the sunshine on its terrace while the children have fun clambering about on the ‘Climbing Prison’, the exciting outdoor climbing playground in our courtyard. The restaurant and the terrace are also accessible without visiting the museum.
Would you like to spend the night in the Prison Museum and sleep in a unique location? No problem! You won’t have to stay in a bare cell with just bread and water, but in one of the five former guard houses that have been converted into attractive, modern cottages. There are holiday homes for two, four and six people. Want to know more? Go to www.vakantieveenhuizen.nl
From pauper’s paradise to penal colony. Penal colony, pauper’s paradise and prison village: Veenhuizen has been all three. The Prison Museum tells the story of the village’s progression from a colony for orphans and beggars, to a state labour institution and finally as a prison village. This is where those who found themselves at the bottom of society were educated, learned to work or served their sentences. Experience this special past for yourself at the Prison Museum. Climb aboard the barge and take the same long journey that the orphans and vagabonds took to Veenhuizen. Look around in the home of a prison official, play the interactive orphan game, sleep in a sleeping cage, create your own description sheet or get the chills by looking at a prisoner’s coffin!