“The whole country voluntarily gave up its freedom so as to root out from the heart of Spain all those who refused to submit themselves to a certain set of values.”
After a long day wandering through Toledo’s museums, castles, and shop lined streets, I stumbled upon a banner advertising the Ancient Instruments of Torture exhibit on a street somewhat out of the way. After some serious negotiating, I managed to talk my family into visiting this small exhibition housed in a dark and old fashioned building. Instruments of torture ranging from maces to metal chokers, from barrels filled with spikes to the guillotine are on display, many including descriptions and explanations for their use. A somewhat hidden sign in a room filled with instruments from the period of witch burnings and the Spanish inquisition holds the above quote — combining tangible relics from the terrible past with the reminder that requiring a “certain set of values” is far from being specific to the 1800’s.
The exhibit of Ancient Instruments of Torture is appropriate for all ages, as the museum is not scary in its presentation. No human figures are used to demonstrate instruments and the apparent age of the instruments makes the torture detached from the present. Only when one applies their knowledge of past and present events to the physical objects does the exhibit become a bit macabre.
The exhibit is worth its 6 euro entrance fee and could fill up to 1.5 hours of your visit to Toledo. It is open from 10am -2pm and then 4pm – 9pm on weekdays and on Saturdays continuously from 10am – 4pm. It is located at Calle Alfonso XII 24 Bis 45002 Toledo Spain. Find more information and other Toledo exhibitions at the Toledo turismo website here.