• select language
  • Cell features
    zoom in zoom out

    The ‘Fools‘ Tower‘

    font + font -

    Cell features

    Innovation and corrective practice

    What was, at first, an innovative building concept was soon updated when the facility was in operation. Each cell had central heating; however, the four furnaces in the basement not only sent up warm air but exhaust gases too. Each cell had its own pit toilet; however, excrement would be carried in tubes - without water – to the basement, where it was collected and fed into the Alserbach stream. Since the tower was built without a water main, it stank abominably. The toilets were soon closed up and chamber pots introduced, which could be emptied on a regular basis.

    Image caption: Layout of the basement of the ‘Fools’ Tower’, “Underground”, 1783
    a: Four furnaces and pipes for heating b: Lunatic containers, c: Stairs leading to the furnaces, d: Canalisation

    Photo © Public domain