Gruesome Entrance

Castigato, over the entrance to a shopping centre

Castigato, over the entrance to a shopping centre

This gate is now the entrance to the Kalvertoren shopping centre from the Heiligeweg side.It was originally the entrance to the “Rasphuis” a work camp, where criminals and tramps were put to work grating Brazilian wood to form a powder pigment for the paint industry.

The gate shows a woman – possibly justice – holding the Amsterdam shield, a whip, while the two male statues are in chains. It did represent a change in how Dutch society thought about punishment of criminals, there was a shift from corporal punishment to the idea of reform through work. Without out doubt there was also exploitation, and physical cruelty – but it was an advance just the same.

And now the gate is over the entrance to a shopping centre and almost no-one looks up.

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One thought on “Gruesome Entrance

  1. Pingback: Foto do dia – Castigatio, antiga entrada da prisão de Amsterdam

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