When one mentions Granada, Spain the conversation usually centres around the magnificent Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens, Yes these sights are historically significant and nothing short of must-see locations on any visit to Granada.

Let me tell you there is more to Granada than the Alhambra. While walking along the Paseo de los Tristes (The Promenade of the Sad Ones) we came across Palacio De Los Olvidados. A Granada museum dedicated to the Spanish Inquisition instruments of torture. Would this be a good thing to see in Granada with kids? It is certianly one of the interesting places to see in Granada

This quirky Torture Museum in Granada is worth a look!

For those that don’t know about the Spanish Inquisition, let us dive into a little history. In 1478 Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile asked the Pope for permission to cleanse Spain through an Inquisition. 

The main aim of the Inquisition was to punish, torture and execute Jews and later Muslims who had converted to Christianity but who were insincere about their new religion. People could be accused by the general population in a campaign of hearsay.

If the person admitted to any wrongdoings and turned in other wrongdoers, they would be let out of jail or given a short prison sentence. However, if they refused to cooperate, then they would be either tortured, publicly executed or sentenced to life imprisonment.

Granada Museum
Marley about to get the chop at this Granada Museum of torture

Visiting a museum such as this is always requires thought when you have children along with you. What will the children see, how will the children react, is it educational and will it be a beneficial experience for them. We came to the opinion that its part of the history of Spain and travelling is learning.

We are big on our kids knowing the history of the places we visit. In saying this know your own kids and make the decision regarding what you want them to see, read and how comfortable you will be answering their questions about this inquisition museum Granada. For us adults it was a fun place to visit in Granada.

The Spanish Inquisition Tortures Museum was not big by any standards just a few rooms with the torture devices, illustrations and descriptions in both English and Spanish.

I must say the English translations were a bit skewiff in parts but you could certainly understand the history of these devices and their uses. There were some sick minds out there in the medieval days that designed these devices and the fact that it was a form of entertainment for the masses to watch the Spanish Inquisition tortures happen is unimaginable.

Let the torture begin

Below you will find some of the devices that they have on display in the Granada Inquisition Museum.

Pain at the Spanish Inquisition Tortures Museum

Torture Item: The Judas Cradle

Use: The victim would be stripped, bound with ropes. To ramp up the fear they would be suspended above the device. They would then be lowered, usually very slowly, onto the device, making the pyramid pierce the bodies openings. The amount of pain the device inflicted can be varied in different ways. The victim could be rocked, they could be dropped repeatedly onto the device. Legs could be lifted, olive oil could be spread on the pyramid. brass weights could be hung from the victim’s legs to add weight.

Granada Museum
The Brazen Bull is mad

Torture Item: The Brazen Bull

Use: The victim was placed inside the brazen bull, a fire was lit underneath the metal bull to basically slow roast the victim to death. This was invented by the Greeks. The device gradually became more sophisticated with modifications added through time such as a complex system of tubes in order to make the victim’s screams sound more like an infuriated bull. It also made it so the smoke from it rose in clouds that came out of the bull’s nostrils. The victim screamed, suffered and ultimately died of the extreme heat.

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Granada Museum of torture. The Iron Maiden was used during the medieval era .
The Iron Maiden hanging out in Granada

Torture Item: The Iron Maiden

Use: The Iron Maiden is a German invention originating in Nuremberg. It was used to punish those who were not loyal to the king. It was also used to intimidate future wrongdoers. The prisoner would be locked into the coffin and made to stand on the grated bottom and spike-covered interior, sufficiently tall to enclose a human being. The Iron maiden would piece the body of its victims. The Chinese Iron Maiden, on the other hand, would enclose the victims and a fire would be lit underneath it. This would slowly steam the victims to death.

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granada museum
The human bird cage

Torture Item: The Coffin Torture

Use: The victim was placed inside a metal cage roughly made in the shape of the human body. Much like a birdcage for humans. Torturers could force overweight victims into a smaller device, or even make the “coffin” slightly larger than a victim’s body to make him more uncomfortable. The cage was frequently hung from a tree in a prominent place to warn others of what could happen to them. The victim was placed under the sun to suffer from heat stroke. This allowed birds or animals to eat his or her flesh. Onlookers would throw rocks and other objects to further increase the pain and humiliation.

granada museum
Thinly sliced anyone?

Torture Item: Guillotine

Use: One of the most notorious forms of executions, the guillotine was made of a razor sharp blade attached to a rope. The victim’s head was placed in the middle of the frame as the blade dropped, severing the victim’s head from the body. Since the decapitation was considered to be an instant and painless event (at least less painful than the other torture methods), it was often considered the most humane method of execution.

You will find details and explanations

Torture Items: spikes and instruments of Spanish Inquisition tortures

Items such as the breast ripper, tongue tearer, pear of anguish, the Heretics Folk just to name a few of the small devices on display. Don’t be fooled into thinking only the large well know devices killed, mutilated and tortured people.


How to get Granada Spain

  • Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén Airport is located 15km west of Granada Spain
  • Granada-Jaen Airport is serviced by Iberia, EasyJet, Vueling, BA Cityflyer and Air Europe.
  • Airports transfers are available from the airport to Granada and surrounding areas. Find out more HERE
  • Pick up your rental car with AutoEurope at the airport
  • We travelled on the Bus from Madrid to Granada. We used Budbud to book our tickets. Estacion de autobuses Granada is in the newer part of Granada. We also left Granada for Seville by bus.
  • Book your train tickets from across Europe to Granda HERE

We enjoyed our time at this Granada Museum. If your looking for fun things to do in Granada the Inquisition museum will educate you and intrigue you with its displays and descriptions. Any tour of Andalucia should include a stop in Granada Spain.

We hope you enjoyed this article from Wyld Family Travel. Please find 2 more articles below for your reading enjoyment. Just click the description to read.

About the Author

Mark Wyld is a father, Husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids.  I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support

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