In a quiet and peaceful town in Warmia, just 6 km from the Marian Sanctuary in Święta Lipka, terrible things happened in the past. And here the chapter on bad traditions ended.
Most of us like to celebrate the holidays traditionally, treating this period as one of the few moments in the year when you can meet your family. Unfortunately, tradition doesn't always come with good things. In the past, it was also associated with ruthless punishment, even for minor offenses, such as stealing bread.
It is difficult to say which period was the most abundant in the infamous "traditions" of harsh sentences and torture. One can, however, be tempted to say that the middle ages with burning piles and a forest of gallows visible at the roads or on the hills are at the forefront of this unusual black list.
5 dark "traditions" of the Middle Ages
Woe to those who were accused of heresy or witchcraft in the Middle Ages. It was enough to point a finger at a woman who was unlucky enough to be more beautiful than her jealous neighbor to condemn her to torture. If she survived the swim , that is, the test of water, she showed these witnesses that she was a witch, and this amounted to a death sentence. And if she drowned during the torture - well, apparently she was innocent.
But not infrequently, it was not necessary to accuse anyone of witchcraft to get him killed or to confess to every crime attributed by the judge. Known to some as an innocent caress, tickling a feather was for many cruel torture. Walking in penitential shoes (with spikes on the heel) was a struggle against fatigue and waiting until the victim would no longer be able to walk on his toes. The metal helmet placed on the head of rebellious women served more humiliation than pain, but in the hands of an ingenious blacksmith it could turn into a tool of mutilation.
Burning at the stake was not so much torture as a cruel medieval sentence. According to some historical sources, the last stake was lit not in Spain, the homeland of the Holy Inquisition, but in Poland.
Europe's last pile
This mysterious place, shrouded in sinister fame, is located in Warmia, in the town of Reszel. The Gallows Hill , because we are talking about it, owes its name to the gallows on which criminals were hung in the past. The gloomy structure was visible from afar, exuding a dark aura of evil and death over the hill. To this day, not everyone will find the courage to visit this place at night.
We will see a cross just outside the city limits. It is said that it stands exactly in the place where the last witch in Europe burned down in 1811. In fact, Barbara Zdunk was not a witch at all, but only an unhappily in love woman who could not come to terms with the departure of her lover. When his house burned down, she became the main accused - the indignant people did not need evidence. He was furious because several Reszel's buildings took over from the fire set at the house of the beloved woman.
Barbara was accused of witchcraft, and the files of her case even went to the King of Prussia. However, the sentence was upheld and the woman was burned at the stake. Apparently, the executioner had mercifully killed her earlier by suffocating her. Over 200 years later, the authorities of Reszel prepared a staging of this event. It aroused much controversy, including the protest of the government plenipotentiary for equal treatment, who argued that the performance strengthened anti-woman stereotypes.
Reszel - Sanfter Tourismus ambassador
The city forgot about bad traditions, and after the severe penalties of the Middle Ages, only the stone part of the pillory at the parish church of St. Peter and Paul. Bad energy is distracted by two crosses standing near the places of execution. And the Gallows Hill looks at the town in silence, remembering the past. Today, Reszel is a quiet place, trying not to remember the hill's past. It is the first Polish city belonging to the Cittàslow network. Amateurs of the so-called mild tourism (Sanfter Tourismus), visiting the world slowly. They will surely like the pilgrimage route to Święta Lipka with baroque chapels and a number of lime trees, as well as sacred monuments and gothic bridges. It is worth visiting this place during your holiday in Mrągowo - it is only 27 km away from the pearl of the Mrągowo Lake District.
Enjoyed reading this article? Share it!