August 8 - TORTURE

Ever since the 13th century, torture was been widely practiced throughout the European nations. Torture was common in Europe during the Medieval Ages for punishment and confession. It was used by every European nation, except for England and Sweden. It was also illegal in the American colonies. We have been to several torture museums in Europe, including Bratislava (Slovakia) and Cesky Krumlov (Czech Republic). Many of the tools used for torture are disgusting and terrible. It is very hard to imagine that these tools were actually used for hundreds of years.

The most detailed torture museum we have visited was in Cesky Krumlov. There we saw a variety of torture instruments and torture methods. We saw actual knives that were used for cutting off tongues and fingers. We also saw shackles, axes for beheading, prison cells, and dunking capsules (cages that were dunked under water to drown people). Some of the shackles we saw were lined with spikes! There was a chair that was covered in metal spikes, and prisoners were forced to sit in it for hours! Another form of common torture was stretching the body. Some prisoners had their hands tied to one horse, and their feet to another. The horses were then whipped, and they ran in opposite directions. The horses would pull all of your joints apart, and sometimes rip off your arms and legs. You could also be burned at the stake, hung, or spun around on a wheel for hours at a time. The cruelest torture we saw at both museums was done to Christians. Prisoners were tied upside down and cut in half with a huge saw pulled by a man on either side. They would start cutting in between the legs, all the way up the neck. We found this truly disgusting! We also saw Spanish boots which were lined with spikes, which prisoners would wear for days! Since the medieval ages, torture has been abolished all around the world, and hopefully will never be brought back again.