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When banning is not enough, you can always damn: the Voodoo Castle in Strasbourg

Discovering the Voodoo Castle in Strasbourg


There are cases where blocking and banning a person is not enough. Sometimes because the person in question is extremely annoying. Others because he is also rather pushy. Still others because he just goes along with it.

When more or less brutal technological solutions do not work, one has to resort to ancient but effective remedies, born even before the invention of the modem. Therefore, to go from banning to damning. And a museum has even been dedicated to one of these remedies, in the cosy yet fascinating Alsatian city of Strasbourg.

It is evocatively called Chateau Vodou and is the world's largest collection of African voodoo objects and tools. As the 007 films have taught us, Voodoo is a religion that encompasses a vast field of practices, rituals and beliefs. It originates from West Africa and has its roots more precisely in the ancient kingdom of Dahomey. Originally, this practice was aimed at curing diseases and maintaining harmony between the visible, earthly world and the invisible world of deities and ancestors. Obviously, all that has come down to us - due to cinematic simplifications - are the little dolls pierced by the pins to inflict excruciating pain on the unfortunate recipients of so much resentment.

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Un post condiviso da Château musée Vodou (@chateauvodou)

The more than 1,200 objects collected by the museum's founders, Marc and Marie Luce Arbogast, have found a worthy home in a 19th-century water tower built by Berlin architect Johann Eduard Jacobsthal. The building, which served as a reservoir to supply steam locomotives and remained empty and abandoned for several decades, was built on the remains of a Roman cemetery, just to stay on the subject of curses and arcane rituals!

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Un post condiviso da Château musée Vodou (@chateauvodou)

An atmosphere that can be enjoyed even more fully by choosing the nocturnal visit that one Friday a month allows visitors to discover the meanderings of this religious practice by the light of a torch alone. Or the Murder at the Museum evening, a role-playing game that takes place inside the building, taking inspiration from the often disturbing objects on display in the rooms of the tower.

Image Vincent NICOLAS on Unsplash