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Freud Museum
20 Maresfield Gardens
+44 (0) 207 435 2002

Closest station: Finchley Road

Opening times:
Daily from 12 – 5pm

Prices: Adults £6.00, concessions £4.50 and £3

Freud Museum: Get psych-ed

The Freud Museum in London is the house where Sigmund Freud lived the last year of his life. It offers insights into his works and collections, making you experience the depth of his research and the contribution he gave to the world of science.

According to the last wishes of his youngest daughter Anna, Freud's house was turned into a museum in July 1986. When the family moved to London after the Nazi annexation of Austria, he continued and completed his works that he had begun in Vienna.

The studio and library on the ground floor exhibit the original psychoanalytic couch brought from his home in Barggasse 19. Just next to it stands Freud's green tub chair, where he listened to the free associations of thought from his patients, laying the foundation of his psychoanalytic therapy.

Looking at this important piece of history, I couldn't help but imagine what it would be like to be on this couch and spill all my deepest emotions.

Anna and the 'id'

Walking around the museum is like stepping back into the past, with collections of antiques from ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt filling the house.

Numerous old books were brought from Austria and cover a wide vista of subjects ranging from art to history, as well as medicine and of course psychoanalysis.

Works by Shakespeare and Goethe occupy the library's shelves as a completion of a whole psychoanalytic portrait trying to define the idea of the unconscious mind.

Part of the first floor is dedicated to Anna Freud. I was surprised to see only such a small part being taken up by her, considering that she dedicated her whole life to her father and his legacy.

From 1923 she was his secretary and ambassador, spreading Freud's work in the psychoanalysis field, especially on child psychology.

A short black and white film shows everyday scenes from Anna's life, the only one of his six children that followed in his footsteps.

Freud and you

The ground floor houses a shop with books on the life and work of Sigmund Freud as well as other contemporary psychology authors.

A series of art prints, gadgets and souvenirs are available for a reasonable price. I myself walked away with notebooks and pencils to jot down my own inner thoughts.

If you want to psyche out your work colleagues, there is the possibility of hiring the museum for meetings, buffets and formal dinners.

I didn't expect to find an ordered collection of all of Freud's work and life, simply because there is just too much. However, the Freud Museum is an authentic spot that provides a good start to understanding the human psyche.

Valentina Romeo