LIFE13 NAT/SI/000314
Cultural attractions

The Pillory – “Pranger”

Published on 13. 1. 2015 under Cultural attractions
The Pillory – “Pranger”

For minor misdemeanors such as theft, poaching, adultery and for those who trespassed against the local noble Poljane landowners, a 2-meter pillory was raised at the beginning of the 13th century in the vicinity of the château where it is now a Community Centre. The smugglers which were very active in these parts in the mid-17th century were probably punished in this way. This type of punishment for libel was an important penal measure of the lower judiciary. The offender was publicly exposed – chained to the wall, mast, cross, put on a pillory, locked in a fool’s cage, put on a donkey, put in the stocks or the bench etc. Written sources from 1336 state that Poljane always had their own provincial and death-penalty court. The term served depended on the weight of the offence, it could last from one hour up to one day or even longer. The offender was mocked at, beaten, scorned and all kinds of filth were thrown at him. Capital punishment was executed on the gallows which were placed near Predgrad, east of Paka. The last offender that was put in the pillory by a bailiff on Whit Saturday and Sunday in 1805 was a woman from Predgrad. Apparently her husband shot a dear in Graščica, but then he escaped and so she was punished by having to wear bowels around her neck while being chained to the stone. According to testimony, she even had her baby brought to her for breast-feeding, because it was crying so hard. The pillories are still preserved in 12 towns across Slovenia.