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Tuke's account of his visit to Winnenthal (Centre for Psychiatry), Winnenden (1853)

Location: Winnenden, Kingdom of Württemberg

Following his travels in 1853, Daniel Hack Tuke described what he encountered in European asylums in his essay - 'The progressive changes which have taken place since the time of Pinel in the moral management of the insane, and the various contrivances which have been adopted instead of mechanical restraint', published in Rules and list of the present members of the Society for Improving the Condition of the Insane (London : Churchill, 1854). Tuke's description of Winnenthal appears on page 54.


'I visited Dr. Zeller at his asylum near Stuttgard, (Winnenthal), and experienced real delight in witnessing the devotion of his heart to the objects of his care. On the subject of Non-Restraint, Zeller’s views are identical to those of Jacobi: nor has he made any attempt to restrain the violent by modern appliances. But, whatever may be his views of Non-Restraint, and however much one may regret his not having made a trial of it - there can be but one opinion as to the character of his treatment - that it is thoroughly humane and accompanied by the highest moral and religious suasion. His presence alone carries with it the assurance of love and of sympathy for his patients; an atmosphere surrounds him - so pure and gentle and holy, that it is impossible to come within its influence without being to some extent affected for the better by it. Of the Non-Restraint System, and the experiment made of it in England, Dr. Zeller said "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good, saith the Apostle."

I have said that Dr. Jacobi has to cope with the difficulties of an old building not constructed for its present use; the same is true of Zeller.'