The Dolhuys


Netherlands | Haarlem



This used to be an asylum for the insane which has been converted to a psychiatric museum. The museum advertises,“Experience the world of madness in the Dolhuys. Meet madmen and lunatics, or clients as they are known today, in our interactive museum and find out how the Netherlands has dealt with madness throughout the centuries.” Psychiatry is a lively topic. One in four Dutch people are affected by a mental problem. This does not mean we are any crazier than the rest of the world. We all know someone affected by depression, burnout or Alzheimer’s. Thanks to mental health care taking up a more prominent position in society, people with psychiatric problems have become a more noticeable presence in everyday life. Yet still not enough is known about psychiatry and people with psychiatric problems often face prejudice. We would like to encourage our visitors to think about the boundary between crazy and normal and question the representations of ‘madness’.

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