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2019-09-26 00:15:31

Tower of Madmen in Vienna: not recommended for visiting the faint of heart

Tower of Madmen in Vienna: not recommended for visiting the faint of heart

Vienna is rich in sights, and one of the strangest of them is the Tower of the Madman Museum: thousands of artifacts related to human bodies and individual organs create an ambiguous impression. The tower itself has a rich history and a number of amazing facts: it was built in 1784 and since then has performed various functions, but visiting the museum today, tourists feel a slight horror and chill under their skin. The excursion will appeal to everyone who loves unusual places, but is not recommended for the faint of heart.

History and features of the tower

Since 1784, a hospital for mental patients was organized in a five-story round building: each floor had 28 rooms with narrow windows - they did not close, and patients could easily move around the floor. The design of the premises made it possible to control what was happening even with a small number of personnel.

The founder of the psychiatric hospital and its only sponsor was Emperor Joseph II, who was seriously concerned about the treatment of mental patients. At that time, three diseases of the psyche were distinguished:

  • Melancholy
  • Insanity
  • Dementia.

Severe patients at the time of Joseph II were chained with metal chains in the wards, and the treatment was vomiting, bloodletting, and other processes that led to the “nullification” of fluids in the body. It was believed that this was the only way to affect serious mental illness.

After the death of the emperor, bed belts and straitjackets began to be used, and treatment of other diseases began: depression, paranoia. A fence was built around the building, separating windows from passers-by onlookers. In subsequent years, the building changed its destination several times:

  • In 1852, only seriously ill patients were brought here
  • In 1869 the tower was closed
  • In 1920, nurses of the Central Vienna Hospital settled here
  • In 1971, the tower became a pathological museum.


The main exhibits of the museum are alcoholic organs and parts of the human body: almost all of them were mutated during illness. Among the most "bright" exhibits stand out alcoholic human babies, brains, skulls, hands. There is also a department of genetic mutations: the exhibits are represented by genitals mutated during sexually transmitted diseases, there is an ancient gynecological chair.

Another hall of the museum clearly shows the results of the use of chemical weapons during the First World War. Visitors can walk around the wards of former patients to get the maximum dose of adrenaline.

Entrance fee is 4 € for an adult, admission is free for people under 19 years of age.

Interesting Facts

  • Under Joseph II, there was no running water in the hospital - the emperor believed that water had a bad effect on the sick.
  • There was a sculptural group in the museum, destroyed during the military bombardment: there are rumors that, in addition to animal bones, the sculptures included human remains.
  • In total, the hospital had 139 wards of 13 square meters.
  • In total, the museum has 50,000 exhibits, 4,000 of which most visitors call disgusting.


The object belongs to museums.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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