Trenčín – executioner’s house

History

The building probably existed already in the sixteenth century, because it can be seen on the oldest known presentation of Trenčín from 1580. The name of the executioner’s house, house of tortures or the house of the city executioner is based on the oral tradition, according to which in the seventeenth century the executioner was supposed to live in it and the town prison was to be located here. The law of the sword was granted to the town by Sigismund of Luxembourg in 1412 with the title of free royal city. Executions were performed by a town executioner, usually under the town walls near the Lower Gate. The most common form of execution was beheading or hanging. At that time, in Hungary beheading was done by a double-edged sword, with a condemned kneeling or sitting on a chair. According to written sources in Trenčín, three town swords were available, two of which have preserved in the collections of the Trenčín Museum.

Architecture

The building represents a characteristic townhouse on the square plan with a round wooden gallery. Originally gothic, it has three floors with a two-bay layout.

Current state

Currently, the monument is managed by the Trenčín Museum, which in 2004 opened two permanent exhibitions in it: “The Act and law of Old Trenčín”, documenting the development of the legal order, supervision over peace and punishment in Trenčín, and the exhibition “Trenčín”, presenting exhibits illustrating life of people in Trenčín, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. The room on the second floor serves as an occasion exhibition hall.

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bibliography:
Website muzeumtn.sk, Katov dom.
Website visit.trencin.sk, Katov dom.