Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Museo Lara in Ronda, Spain

Have just been to a rather fun little museum in Ronda in Andalucia. It has a section on witchcraft which is worth visiting purely to check out the gigantic phallus on the life size Pan statue. I hope to add a photo when I return. I'm unable to download pics at the moment. There was a rather fabulous collection of mandrakes & other herbs and some interesting tableaux of how witches were thought to behave in the middle ages. I cannot sign off without mentioning the rather disturbing phallic dildoe-esque wooden machines which were used for god knows what....the mind boggles.....there was no actual text to describe whether they were used by the witches themselves or by the torturers. I'm sure you'd be able to find them on an S & M website somewhere these days. Quite an eye-waterer I would have thought. There is a mermaid there as well. Quite a place to visit.


Anonymous said...

The Lara Museum is a fascinating place to visit, and the wooden instruments you describe were actually used by the Spanish Inquisition to do harm on people suspected of witchcraft.

The saddest thing is that most of the women (and a few men) who were accused of witchcraft were nothing of the sort, just simple folk who had fallen out with their neighbours and then denounced.

My understanding is that there were very few people here in the vicinity of Ronda who lived any kind of lifestyle that we would identify with modern witchcraft. In fact most were probably just people who had given up on the church and might more correctly be described as non-practising Christians, but during the Inquisition that alone was enough to have them charged and forced to confess.

Anonymous said...

I go to school in Spain and we are studing witchcraft in history, I was wondering if you could tell wether this museum is sutable for students of the ages 12-13?

Museum of Witchcraft said...

It is a very nice museum but I imagine there would be a lot of giggles from the children when they encounter the Pan statue. I would suggest contacting the museum itself to check on their policy and perhaps the teacher/supervisor could check the exhibits before going around. There is a lot on persecution and torture there.