Stone Pillory, Wroclaw
Thieves and other criminals were publicily punished from the 15th until the 18th century at the stone pillory. The original pillory was destoyed at the end of WWII.
The current pillory is a sandstone copy which was erected in 1985. The Gothic monument is topped by the figure of Ronald who is the medieval symbol of justice.
The stone pillory can be found on the Market Square (Rynek), just in front of the City Hall (Ratusz).
Just beside the Town Hall is an elegant stone monument known as a pillory. Now a common meeting point for young Wroclawians the pillory's original purpose was as a place of punishment for petty criminals. In fact public flogging and other forms of humiliation were still practiced here in the 18th Century.
Just in front of the Townhall you can see a stone pillory. This replica of a gothic pillory was made in 1985. The spot witnessed many public executions; the last one ( by beheading) was in 1681, but flogging was performed here till 1770.
According to W. Chadzynski, the author of a very interesting book about old Wroclaw, the most frequent offenders were women sentenced for rows. Another reason for this 'public exposure' was adultery. ( I'm afraid today one pillory wouldn't be enough :-)). On June 14th 1628 the offender was a young boy punished for arranging a date with several girls at the same time, and not turning up to any of them. An additional punishment for the poor fellow tied to the pillory were mockery and sneering of the public who also loved aiming at the culprit with bullets made of dried horse dung.
The pillory was not the only place where troublemakers were punished and exposed to the public. In 1670's local authorities decided to put a cage in a fish market, not far from the pillory. This cage, covered by a copper roof, was not for animals, but for those of the citizens who behaved immorally. Once they were four craftsmen who had played cards during a service in st Elizabeth's church, argueing loudly. Another time it was a woman who had been walking in the city dressed in man's clothes. The evidence of her guilt - the trousers -were also dispalyed to the audience.
Right next to the eastern front of the town hall is pillory, a polpular meeting point. Everytime it was not raining the place around the pillory was filled by younger people, sitting at the steps and talking. This stone made pillory is a replica from 1985 of a former Gothic Pillory. in the former times public executions took place here - the last one was made here in 1770.