Place of execution

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The Lucerne execution site in 1495

A place of execution , and the place of execution or place of execution called, used to be a place where a convicted person executed was. The terms used to stand for the place where the court was held.

The raised scaffold was used for a public execution . The popular name Rabenstein was common for a walled-up complex . The name supposedly refers to the presence of numerous ravens at the place of execution.


The place of execution was mostly located outside of built-up areas in a conspicuous place, for example at a crossroads or on a hill. The gallows was erected there, visible from afar . Other types of execution were also common.

The way to the place of execution was often an indirect part of the punishment; the convict was presented to the onlookers or dragged to the place of execution on a horse. After the execution, some of the people who were executed were left hanging on the gallows as a deterrent. Those executed were buried in unconsecrated earth, often in the immediate vicinity of the gallows.

In many places the place of execution has been preserved in field names, for example Galgenberg or Galgenacker or - in the Rumantschia in Switzerland  - the Fuorcha .

Excavations on execution sites

More extensive excavation campaigns at German medieval execution sites have so far taken place in 2010 on the Galgenhügel near Alkersleben as the execution site of the 10th to 12th centuries and in 2014 and 2018 on the Galgenberg near Bad Belzig .

Well-known places of execution

See also


Web links

Commons : Execution sites  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Richtplatz  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Place of execution  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Duden online: Place of execution and place of execution
  2. ^ Anne-Marie Dubler: Place of execution. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . October 28, 2010 .
    Place of execution. In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm (Hrsg.): German dictionary . tape 14 : R - skewness - (VIII). S. Hirzel, Leipzig 1893, Sp. 901 ( ).
    Place of execution. In: Adelung: Grammatical-Critical Dictionary of High German Dialect 1793 ( ).
  3. Duden online only mentions the gallows under Rabenstein , but places of beheading were also named Rabenstein .
  4. Rabenstein. In: Adelung: Grammatical-Critical Dictionary of High German Dialect. 1793 ( , number 2: “sublime walled place where the wrongdoers are usually beheaded”).
  5. General German real encyclopedia for the educated classes. 10th edition, FA Brockhaus, Leipzig 1853.
  6. ^ Excavations on the Galgenberg near Bad Belzig accessed August 26, 2020.
  7. Excavations on the Galgenhügel Alkersleben 2010 accessed August 26, 2020.
  8. Architectural monuments and monument zones of the Karlovy Vary Region, Czech Republic, Publishing House Region Karlovy Vary, 1st edition 2005, p. 23