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Dolhuys+Museum+AJP+2008 - Images in Psychiatry Het Dolhuys...

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694 Am J Psychiatry 165:6, June 2008 Images in Psychiatry ajp.psychiatryonline.org Het Dolhuys: A Museum of People With Mental Illness and Their Treatment H aarlem is a beautiful old town, already mentioned in ac- counts from the year 950 and gaining municipal rights in 1245, that is now a 15-minute train ride from Amsterdam. It has all the picturesque attributes of a medieval Dutch town: a windmill, ca- nals, narrow winding streets, hidden gardens, a dramatic gothic cathedral, and a Dolhuys. Het Dolhuys (asylum for the insane) was situated outside the original town walls. Built in the 15th century, it was a leprosy asy- lum and then became a “madhouse,” later fused with the pesti- lence asylum. This asylum for the sufferers of contagious diseases and madness was a place for the outcasts of society. But the town took seriously its responsibility for the housing and management of the insane inhabitants, who until then were kept enchained and hidden by their families. In 1841 the first Dutch Law on Insanity led
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