The Virgin of Nuremberg

The Medieval Torture Museum

San Gimignano, Italy

The name of this instrument seems to have its origin from a prototype that was built in the town of Nuremberg. It is also said that this sort of sarcophagus had a maiden face carved on its front door probably aimed at making this horrible container look more refined.

The sarcophagus was fitted with spikes on the inside that pierced different parts of the body but never transfixed vital organs in order to keep the victim alive, hanging upright.

The device would be opened both from the front and from the back side without the victim being able to get out. The container was so thick that no shriek could be heard from outside unless the doors were opened.

When the sarcophagus doors were shut back, the spikes penetrated the same parts of the body and into the same wounds as before, inflicting a long and cruel agony.

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