Welcome to The Norwegian National Museum of Justice

At the end of Erling Skakkes gate, by Ila church in Trondheim, lies Norway’s museum for justice and the rule of law. The main purpose of the museum is to promote the idea that the rule of law has always been - and always will be - necessary for society to function. This is showcased through permanent, temporary, and online exhibitions. For more information please click the red arrow.

Temporary exhibition: The Prison of Madness

The exhibitions main focus is the dangerous and mentally ill as a societal problem throughout history. How has society viewed the mentally ill and their criminal responsibility, or lack thereof, and how has this problem been dealt with? What are today’s challenges within the secure branch of psychiatric health care?

Online exhibitions

Please visit our online exhibitions by selecting a topic from the "EXHIBITION"-menu. One example is: Death Penalty à la Christian V.

The Permanent Exhibitions

The museum has many smaller exhibits highlighting different aspects of Norwegian legal history, focusing on crime and punishment. There is also a larger exhibition on the Second World War.

Disciplinary Images

The exhibition highlights how the police began to use photography in the 1850s as a way to control certain groups of people deemed criminal or suspect.

Guided tours

We welcome groups by appointment.

History of the building

This large brick building from 1833 was originally a slavery, built to imprison those sentenced to hard labour. In 1895 the building was renovated and altered to serve as Norway’s first criminal asylum. Those sent here were deemed insane and guilty of a crime. The Criminal Asylum merged with Reitgjerdet hospital in 1923. The asylum was shut down in 1963, and became a museum in 1997.

Open first Sunday of each month!

Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 10-15, and first Sunday of the month 11-15.

Current Exhibitions