The medieval village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber has a world famous Criminal Museum. I was a little nervous about taking the kids to such a museum, but after we passed the first few gruesome devices it turned out to be a great visit.
Here are a few of the cruel devices.
This chair covered with cone shaped spikes and it was most commonly used to force confessions of someone observing someone else being forced to sit in it.
This is a type of extension ladder which was used to stretch people to their death.
We laughed a lot at the large collection of masks. The one on the left was for people who ate and acted like pigs. The one on the right was for women who heard everything (notice the huge ears) and told all they heard (the huge tongue). People who commited these crimes were forced to stand in the village square so citizens could poke fun at them.
This is a flute for bad musicians. It was straped around the neck, and the fingers of the bad musicians were locked into place. They too would have to stand in the town square.
This is an iron maiden. It was made for women and girls who commited crimes. Inside the iron is a thick layer of wood. Wrong-doers would be forced inside unable to move for a set amount of time.
The drunk tank was for men found wandering the streets late at night, drunk and causing a problem. I guess it's similar to a drunk and disorderly crime today. Men were forced to wear this in the town square. It was quite heavy and extra weights could be strapped onto the side. (see the white ball on the left side of the image).
This device was for two women, or a husband and wife who were having an argument. There is a neck hole and two arm holes for each person. Persons involved in the argument had to be locked up until they could reach an agreement.
This is a giant rosary. It was for parishioners who fell asleep or skipped church. Since everyone had assigned seats these crimes were easy to detect.