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2013_0324FreudMuseum

As well as the huge, famous museums in the centre, London has a number of smaller museums dotted around the city. One place I’d never heard of until fairly recently was the Freud Museum, located near Finchley Road.

Most people will have heard of the ‘Father of Psychoanalysis’ Sigmund Freud. Though he lived and worked in Vienna for many years, his Jewish background meant that he and his family were vulnerable to persecution from the Nazis when they annexed Austria in 1938. He emigrated to England along with several members of his household, and spent the last year of his life in this house at 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead, where he died in 1939. His daughter Anna, herself an influential and respected child psychoanalyst, lived in the house until her death in 1982.

The house is large, comfortable and welcoming, and I imagine it would be a very pleasant place to spend time in. Letters and documents belonging to and relating to both Sigmund and Anna, including Sigmund’s suit, are displayed. I thought the study was the most interesting room: it was where Freud saw his patients, but it seems more like a library, with shelves of books and archaeological artefacts. Sigmund Freud apparently had a strong interest in archaeology, which he compared to the study of the human mind.

I loved the landing in between the two floors, where there was a table next to the large window. The upstairs rooms also had some interesting information, including a Freud family tree, photos and books relating to Anna Freud and a temporary art exhibition.

FACTS

Address: 20 Maresfield Gardens, London, NW3 5SX

Website: freud.org.uk

Opening Hours: Wed-Sun 12pm-5pm

Prices: Adult £7, Senior Citizen £5, Concession £4; under-12s free.

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