I have the most amazing travel buddy in the world. Before the pandemic, my travel buddy and I used to plan trips abroad at least once a year; even though we are located in two different countries. We’ve been very good at organizing our flights to meet at the airports around the same time.
Back in 2018 my buddy and I decided to go to the Netherlands. Our goal was not to visit only Amsterdam. We’ve always been light travelers and we decided that within three days we can see a lot of different cities in the country. The Netherlands offers one of the most convenient transportation systems and a lot of its cities can be easily reached by train within hours. And we decided to start our trip by visiting a very unique place in a city called Oudewater. The reason is, I had read somewhere that this city was frequently visited in the 16th century by many people from Europe. People who were accused of being a witch etc could go to Oudewater, and receive a certification stating that they were not witches; provided that they passed a weighing test on the huge scales.
Actually, below you can find an excerpt from Visit Oudewater’s website which explains things more clearly than I can:)
“Many people accused of witchcraft from all over Europe (or at least, those who could afford the trip) made a head-over-heels trip to Oudewater to avoid being burned at a stake. After the weighing, they received an official certificate proclaiming them not to be a witch. Although nobody was ever found to be an actual witch in Oudewater, the weighings were still a public spectacle. Even today you can get a certificate that “your body weight is in proportion to your build.” The reasoning behind this is the old belief that a witch has no soul and therefore weighs significantly less than an ordinary person; this distinction allows the witch to fly on a broomstick.“
The museum is very small, and it is a lot of fun. I could not have missed the chance to be weighed on the scales and get my certificate. My travel buddy was happy to find out she was not a witch either.
This museum got us thinking that back in the 16th century, thanks to intelligent thinking, lots of actual lives were saved in this city. And not a lot of people know that this place exists. If you ever get the chance to visit the Netherlands, you may consider visiting this museum. You will need to take a bus to get there, and on your way, you can enjoy the beautiful countryside scenery as well.