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Culture news, 29.05.2001 12:53

Torture instruments in Peter and Paul Fortress

C:Documents and Settings Elena.JPG The entire spectrum of instruments of punishment used in medieval Europe is presented at the exposition in Peter and Paul Fortress' Trubetskoy Bastion prison. It totals about sixty various adaptations which are copies of real instuments or recreated on the basis of historical images. These torture instruments were used in the practice of civil and religious courts since 1100. These items, including both refined means of interrogation and execution, are supplied with extensive historical comments and illustrations.

Executions in the Middle Ages were a kind of public performances, and a death through cutting off of one's head was considered quite a merciful way of punishment, accessible only to noble criminals. The most dramatized exhibit in the exposition is "the Nuremberg maiden", a huge sarcophagus shaped as a female figure with numerous edges inside - they are located so that the vital organs of a victim in sarcophagus were not damaged. The agony of those sentenced to execution was supposed to be long and painful.

Photo by N. Polinin, Interpress.

News source: RIA Novosti

(c) 2000