At that time when the hospital was opened in 1888, it quickly accumulated approx. 1100 patients. The patients had various mental disorders, but also diabetics and patients with epilepsy were admitted/lived in the hospital. At the time there were no medication, and therefore the people who today control their disease through medication, were hospitalized because they were a danger to themselves (and perhaps others, depending on the condition they had). It was also important to lock everything in, and keep all doors and windows locked to prevent suicide attempts.
The mental hospital received patients from Funen and South Jutland (the area we now call Region Syddanmark). The many patients made the hospital a very large workplace in Teglgaardsparken, which at the time was located south of Middelfart.
The mental hospital closed completely in 1999, after the activities at the mental hospital were scaled down during the 1970s and 80s, and the patients moved to a new hospital.
The psychiatric museum today
Today the psychiatric museum is run by Middelfart Museum. It stands as a symbol for the underlying cultural history of Middelfart mental hospital.
The museum has made different sound effects, where former voice-hearing patients tell their story (DK language). It provides a very special experience. When you walk through the museum, open and close the doors to each room to recreate the atmosphere of the once locked doors and windows.
If you are just a bit interested in culture, then you just have to visit the Psychiatric Collection. See the opening hours at VisitMiddelfarts events calendar: Events in Middelfart.
Ivan Dam Jensen: "Exciting exhibition where you get an insight into an otherwise closed world".
Tom M. Nielsen: "I myself have been admitted to the hospital back in the 80s. Having visited the psychiatric museum, I was pleasantly surprised by the way the museum reproduces the atmosphere of that time. The sounds, transitions, closed doors, etc. It was a great experience and not least, the sound effects made it a brilliant and authentic experience. Thanks".