The square in front of the city hall is adorned with a 10 meter pillory made  of sandstone. This is an accurate copy of the pillory, which had been standing in this place since 1492, but was destroyed in February 1945 and was finally demolished in April 1947. In the thirteenth century the eastern wall of the city hall square was surrounded by a ditch and a wattle fence, where the court cases took place. At the beginning of the fourteenth century it was covered with fine brick and stone paving and a wooden pillory was set. The possession of pillory in Wroclaw was a reason for pride, for the city was testified to grant legal privileges, which let the use of punishment of sword. The same was true with the presence of the executioner and the possession of the gallows. They added prestige to the city, paid attention to the respect of liberties and laws. The first gallows in Wroclaw were in 1370  on site of contemporary Pułaskiego street, the other before Świdnicka gate, and the third on the market about 1515, opposite the house number 19 called “Under the old gallows.”

In the mid-fourteenth century the town hall square was rebuilt and the place of judicial Wójtowską Hall was erected, where a mayor and eleven jurors were working. In 1492 under the windows of the hall, a three-step pedestal, new, stone pillory was built in the workshop of Preusse’a and Gauskego. Paul Preusse was a Saxon architect, stone mason and bricklayer, who, thanks to the identified club character, could be attributed to many works and architectural details including the southern facade and interior of the nave of Wroclaw Town Hall.

The pillory was made of sandstone and had the shape of the pole maintenance trapeziums openwork pentagonal lantern, which passed above the pyramid on the edges of the finished decorated figure. It had seventy centimeters and presented a headman, also known as Roland with a sword and a bunch of rods. On the top there was a metal wind flag with an additionally cut “W”. Some pillar pillory had metal rings to which convicts were tied.

The last public execution in the pillory was probably in the late eighteenth century and the last sentence of flogging in the late nineteenth century. In 1848all the metal parts, brackets and chains for the convicts, were removed, and in 1852 it was decided to destroy the pillory, which was not allowed by Frederick William IV of Hohenzollern a Prussian ruler who had great passion for architecture, art and history.

Between 1947 and 1985 Wroclaw market did not havethe distinctive pillory at the intersection of Oławska and Świdnicka streets. A case of reconstruction of the pillory returned on various occasions. In the 80s a lot of authorities, institutions and media were involved in it. While working at the Laboratory for Conservation of Monuments the creators of the present pillory took into consideration sketches, photographs and drawings of the pillory from 1925. The official unveiling of the pillory took place on 30 December 1985.

Nowadays the pillory is the most popular meeting place for Wroclaw’s residence.


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