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Author Topic: Other: A guided tour through the Netherlands largest Witch Trial  (Read 433 times)

Vixen

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A guided tour through the Netherlands largest Witch Trial
« on: May 28, 2018, 05:03:17 am »
As many of you know I work at the historical archives in Roermond, a middle sized town in the Netherlands. Back in the days this town was very large and well respected. The capital of the upper quarter of the Duchy of Guelders, one of the duchies that made up the Holy Roman Empire in 1096–1795ad.

Today and Thursday I am guiding a group of schoolchildren of around 12/13 through the archives. They are here to learn more about the middle ages and together with my coworker (who will lead them around the museum) we have a pretty nice arrangement for them.


Every one of our employees has their own stories to tell during these tours. I always focus on the witch hunts. This town is home of the largest witch trials of the Netherlands. 63 witches and one witch master were burned here in 1613. Although the documents to these trials are lost, others are documented in detail. The story of the witches lets me tie together some of our most precious documents.

First I will take them down to the depot, showing off our 4,5 kilometers (2.8 miles) long collection dating back to the 13th century. Our oldest document, a papal bull dating from 1259 granting an indulgence to anyone who donated money to help build the new hospital in the city, shows them how important the Catholic church was in those days. Then a 14th century lawbook called the Corpus Juris Civilis, handwritten by a single monk, illuminated with gold leaf. Again connecting Catholics with the law. Then the Malleus Maleficarum, or the Witches hammer dating from 1487. In it is another papal bull acknowledging that witches are real and due to their collaboration with the devil are evil creatures. Next some of the documents from the witch trials where we see in detail how witches are tortured till confession.

Lastly I take them to the dungeon, where I show where prisoners were kept and you can still see medieval scribblings on the walls. We also keep a replica of a medieval torture device called a strappado down there. I always turn the lights off at this point. I thrive off the screams of children...  8)

I only have 20 minutes, but I want to leave them in awe of the rich history of this city and the fact that you can find all of that in a small dusty little corner of city hall.



The Roermondse Witch trials even have their own Wikipedia page, lol https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roermond_witch_trial






*not sure where to put this so move if better suited anywhere else.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 03:03:32 pm by RandallS »
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Aisling

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Re: A guided tour through the Netherlands largest Witch Trial
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2018, 08:49:12 am »
Today and Thursday I am guiding a group of schoolchildren of around 12/13 through the archives. They are here to learn more about the middle ages and together with my coworker (who will lead them around the museum) we have a pretty nice arrangement for them.


Every one of our employees has their own stories to tell during these tours. I always focus on the witch hunts. This town is home of the largest witch trials of the Netherlands. 63 witches and one witch master were burned here in 1613. Although the documents to these trials are lost, others are documented in detail. The story of the witches lets me tie together some of our most precious documents.

First I will take them down to the depot, showing off our 4,5 kilometers (2.8 miles) long collection dating back to the 13th century. Our oldest document, a papal bull dating from 1259 granting an indulgence to anyone who donated money to help build the new hospital in the city, shows them how important the Catholic church was in those days. Then a 14th century lawbook called the Corpus Juris Civilis, handwritten by a single monk, illuminated with gold leaf. Again connecting Catholics with the law. Then the Malleus Maleficarum, or the Witches hammer dating from 1487. In it is another papal bull acknowledging that witches are real and due to their collaboration with the devil are evil creatures. Next some of the documents from the witch trials where we see in detail how witches are tortured till confession.

Lastly I take them to the dungeon, where I show where prisoners were kept and you can still see medieval scribblings on the walls. We also keep a replica of a medieval torture device called a strappado down there. I always turn the lights off at this point. I thrive off the screams of children...  8)


I'm a little past the 12/13 year old range, but I would love to be on that tour!  It sounds like you've put together a great program. 
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Vixen

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Re: A guided tour through the Netherlands largest Witch Trial
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2018, 10:27:01 am »
I'm a little past the 12/13 year old range, but I would love to be on that tour!  It sounds like you've put together a great program.

There's a 13 year old in all of us.  ;)
You're only given a little spark of madness, you mustn't lose it.

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