Wandering around the Castle can get somewhat dull for younger visitors, a surefire way to light up their little eyes is to take them down into the dungeon.
Of course, I am not encouraging you to leave them down there, but rather to let them have a look at the exhibition entitled (not my translation) “Execution, Torture and Shaming in Old Hungary”, if that doesn`t get your little ones salivating, then nothing will.
The exhibition is not suitable for those with a nervous disposition
At first sight, things don`t seem very promising: It is a very small exhibition, consisting of two passages leading to a large cell; that`s it!
Not only that, but it is not actually housed in a dungeon. rather a large wine cellar commandeered to accommodate the exhibition due to it looking like what we all imagine a dungeon to look like.
Medieval stocks, we laugh at them now but spending time in these was not a pleasant experience
But do not be dismayed, despite the small space, the curator has managed to gather a treasure trove of instruments of pain and shame.
In the left hand passage, the exhibits include stocks of all shapes and sizes (see left) and a pillory (or shame pole).
These devices were used to punish petty crimes through humiliation, the indignity suffered could be amplified with the use of a shame stone attached to the neck, or shame masks items which can also be viewed here.
Shame on you
Sentenced to an hour in the stocks did no more than hurt a wrongdoer`s pride, there are other artifacts here, however, that were used to cause immeasurable suffering.
Tools for gouging, stretching, burning, throttling, cutting and all manner of torture line the walls; many are accompanied by helpful `how to` illustrations just in case you didn`t grasp the horribleness of the pain they could inflict.
At the end of this passage there is a large cell, a reconstruction of a condemned man`s cell set up as if the night before his execution.
The right hand passage contains a selection of exhibits which show all the different methods of execution practiced in Medieval Hungary.
To be honest, I find this exhibition just a bit too gory for my liking and if you are of a sensitive disposition I would advise you to think twice before descending those precipitous steps.
If you have purchased a full ticket to the castle, then the dungeon exhibition is free. If, however, you only bought a so-called walking ticket then you will need to pay at the entrance; the entrance fee changes regularly but will be clearly displayed at the ticket booth.
Opening hours for the dungeon exhibition are 9.00-17.00 from May through to October. It is closed on Mondays