1 Oude Gracht, Veenhuizen, Netherlands
www.gevangenismuseum.nl - 0592 388 264
Nationaal Gevangenismuseum Veenhuizen Reviews
Affordable daytrip and loads of fresh air :), children will enjoy it as well Apr 26, 2012
Gevangenis (pronunciation is something like G-a-vonh-a-niss) is the dutch word for jail.
Walk around an historical landmark, hitch a ride on the old detainees transport and have a look in a 'current jail'.
How the dutch handle crime and punishment from the 1600's until now and this combined with the extraordinary history in the village of Veenhuizen gives you an interesting peek in dutch penitentiary history and current affairs.
May sound boring to some, true it's not an amusementparc but with everything to do and see in Veenhuizen your day won't be boring at all!!!!
The museum is situated in the original building, build in 1823, used to lock up beggars and tramps. And includes the old buildings in the vicinity where the Director, Doctor, Schoolteacher etc. used to live (11 buildings).
The museum always has an exhibition which highlights one thing or another concerning the (historical) penitentiary system in the Netherlands. There are special searches set out for the children that visit the museum, with a questionnaire the children will be set out on a learning experience that willl be exiting for a change!!
The bus that used to drive the detainees from the prison to the workplace willl now show you around (and beyond) the ground of the museum. It willl be a 30 minute drive through history and you willl also pass current facilities on the way. (FYI you are not allowed to take pictures of the current jails). The explanation is in dutch, but get on the bus and enjoy the view.
The vehicles that are currently used to transport detainees are parced within the grounds of the museum. It is even possible to enter them, an experience the most of us willl only have here :)
Walk through the gates of'De Rode Pannen' for a look in a 'current' jail. (The entrance is like used at this time in the big facilities.) This building is left of the main museum, behind the old butcher on the corner.
It is also possible to stay the night in one of the houses where the guards used to stay. On the inside a nice holiday bungalowpark feel, because they're 'done up' to current standards. An overnight stay may also give you the possibility to go on a theme night tour, they sometimes have around this prison museum.
NOTE: this museum is a true dutch museum in the sense that every text and film willl be in dutch. But the dutch are known for being bilingual so don't be afraid to ask the other visitors if you don't understand something.
NOT AN OFFICIAL PART OF THE MUSEUM BUT A PART OF ITS HISTORY
The bus won't take you the whole way, but if you would like to see that the difference was also great after life, drive to the cemetery at the Kerklaan (all the way at the end of the paved road). The cemetery is still used so mind the other visitors. But you'll see the old graves of t he doctor and director and such are grand with marble, fences and fancy writing, but the beggars and tramps got a plank with there name or a cross with only a number...
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Interesting day out for the whole family Jun 18, 2011
My family went here for our annual family this year. We only booked a day ahead as we had had other plans, but due to the weather we were forced to find an indoor option instead.
The museum staff did everything to accommodate us and even at this late notice we we able to book a guided tour through on of the old prison buildings: De Rode Pannen. The guide was very entertaining and involved even the youngest in our group: a two year old boy. He also tried to translate into English for two non-Dutch speakers who were with us. One in the group can't walk very far and a wheelchair was available after inserting a 50cent coin, like with a shopping trolly.
On the morning of the visit we called at opening time (10am) to see if anything could be arranged food-wise, as we didn't fancy the planned picnic in the pouring rain. This was no problem, they had a seperate room ready for our party when we arrived after the tour with plenty of choice of luxury filled breadrolls, coffee, tea, milk and other drinks.
After this we all made our way through the musuem. Normally a one-and-a-half hour two would have been included but at such short notice they did not have anyone available which was understandable. I'm not sure the youngest ones in hour group would have been able to focus their attention for that long anyway! ;-) The museum is interesting and parts of it interactive, which was fun for everyone.
All in all a great choice, I would definitely reccommend it!
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