Museum Dr. Guislain

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See the dark and bright spots of history of psychology at the first mental asylum of Belgium. Thankfully, mental health is getting the attention it really needs at this museum that gives you plenty of food for thought.

Museum Dr. Guislain tells you all about the history of psychiatry. That’s the study of mental illness like anxiety and depression. This psychology museum actually was the first mental asylum in Belgium. Discover how mental health patients were treated throughout history.

People were locked up in madhouses. Doctors thought their patients were possessed by demons. Psychiatrists used poor “treatments” like threpination. That’s where they drill a hole into the patient’s head to let out the spirit the doctor’s think is possessing the patient. As you can imagine, this does nothing to help anyone. See the equipment for this tragic and (thankfully) no longer used procedures at the museum.

Mental health treatment has gotten so much better. For that we can all be grateful!

The museum is named after Dr Guislain, who was a visionary psychiatrist of the 1800s for introducing better and humane treatments to his patients in Ghent. He was pretty popular locally (there’s a statue of him on the Begijnhoflaan).

  • Normal: what does it mean to be ‘normal’? The Museum Dr. Guislain wants to break down those prejudices. 11.2% of Belgians have an anxiety disorder and 9.4% have depression. It’s more common than you’d think! The exhibit explores how patients have been treated throughout history and how it’s all changing for the better.
  • Outside the mainstream: Museum Dr. Guislain also shows off outsider art (aka art brut). That’s work by artists that haven’t been trained or worked in a traditional art setting. Get ready to see unique, colourful pieces outside the art bubble norm.
Updated on 25 February 2022

Tips and Tricks

  • Check out the official website to see what's going on in their "Art Brut" space.
  • Book tickets ahead of time on the official website. Link below.

Getting There

  • By Car: car parking available on site
  • By Bus: short walk away from bus stop Gent Guislainbrug. Buses 9 and 65 stop here.
  • By Tram: close to tram stop Gent Guislainstraat. Tram 1 stops here

Tu to F, 9:00 to 17:00. Sa to Su, 13:00 to 17:00


All seasons


Adult 10€, Kids free, special discount rates available. Guided tour (max group 15 people) 70€


Open; national COVID measures apply. We recommend booking a ticket ahead of time as the number of visitors is limited.

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