Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pinkafeld's Pranger


For ABC Wednesday, P is for the Pranger of Pinkafeld.
The oldest remaining building in this Austrian village was built in 1600 and served as the Rathaus or "city hall" for a long time, but now it houses the Pinkafeld Stadtmuseum.

The museum is really a labor of love, and I'll show you the inside in coming days.

But first looks what's OUTSIDE -- the Pranger, erected in 1804!

Wikipedia explains it as

a Central European physical punishment device related to the stocks and the pillory. The Middle Low German word means "something that pinches badly".
The pranger chained the victim's neck to a pair of leg restraints fastened around the ankles. Often the chain was short so that the offender was placed in an uncomfortable half-kneeling position.
In another type of pranger (pillory), the condemned person was tied to a column that stood in the town center for public view. 
The pranger was only used for public humiliation as punishment, not for painful interrogation or coercion.

But why the sword you ask?
It has to do with Blutgericht (Blood Court) and Jus gladii (high justice).
In the Holy Roman Empire this referred to the right of a Vogt (a reeve) to hold a criminal court inflicting bodily punishment, including the death penalty.
In Latin ius gladii literally means "the right of the sword," referring to the legal authority of an individual or group to execute someone for a capital offense, i.e. high justice.
The sword of justice (and hand of justice) are regalia that (often proudly and publicly) symbolize this highest penal authority.


William Kendall said...

I've heard of the concept, but not the word itself before. I look forward to what you've got in store!

Melody Steenkamp said...

Hello Dina

Wonderful photographs of a even more wonderful building, wich has stand its time thankfully

Thank you for your loyal participating every week !
Hope to may greet you next week again!

Have a nice abc-day / -week
♫ M e l ☺ d ♫ (abc-w-team)

Hels said...

I find the idea of stocks, the pillory and executions to be abhorrent, but it is historically perfect that the Pinkafeld Stadtmuseum is where it is.

Petrea Burchard said...

Great photos and I look forward to more.

aykayem said...

People sure do some Peculiar things for Punishment :)

Dina said...

Aykayem, shalom. Yes, they do. From olden times until the present day, unfortunately.

Roger Owen Green said...

very informative. disturbing, but interesting.

Alice said...

Very interesting building, but sometimes I wonder where peoples minds are.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

By 1610, the New World was just starting to be explored. That's mind-boggling to me. So is that punishment device. Though, there are times when I think that humiliation in a public square may be a more effective deterrent than jail time.
The View from the Top of the Ladder

Kay said...

I hope humiliation was effective. I'm glad they weren't using the more horrible methods of punishment we read about.

VP said...

The Romans knew it all already...

Alison Sandberg Jason Pritchard Clinton said...


Indrani said...

Wow! That is something strange and unique. So perfect for captioning in my WW posts! :)
Happy ABCW!

Villasappho Liesbeth said...

What a special building, love that shade of yellow! Curious of what's inside so I will be back.