Hidden Belgium: The oldest mental asylum in Belgium

Hidden Belgium: The oldest mental asylum in Belgium

Hardly anyone knows about the strange and haunting Dr Guislain Museum located in a quiet Ghent suburb.

It occupies one wing of a model psychiatric institution founded in 1857 by Dr Jozef Guislain.

Visitors can wander through chilling deserted wards still furnished with iron beds and old medical equipment.

One room contains a terrifying mechanical saw used in operations to remove the top of the skull.

The temporary exhibitions are always fascinating, as is the extensive collection of outsider art. Almost no one leaves this museum untouched.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day. 

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