An unusual leprosy museum is located approximately five km from the centre of Münster in the district of Kinderhaus. It is a bit far from the traditional tourist routes but then it fully corresponds to the historical truth. It was here that since 1332 the leper colony of Münster was situated. Actually “Kinderhaus” means “house of poor children of God” – that’s how the unfortunate wretches affected with this illness were called in the Medieval Ages.
In the Medieval Ages leprosy was wide-spread in Central Europe. Such institutions existed almost in all large cities. Only in German-speaking countries there were more than a thousand of such institutions! Leprosy museum established 30 years ago tells the story of the horrible decease, the attitude of the society to it, old and new methods of treatment, as well as daily life of the deceased in those times. Another topic is depiction of the decease in art. Cure of lepers by Jesus was a popular topic in the medieval painting. Also, certain saints were customarily depicted as lepers. Interestingly, in earlier paintings the decease was drawn schematically, while already in the 15th century its symptoms were shown more realistically in paintings.