Gallows - Zabytek.pl
woj. lubuskie, pow. żarski, gm. Trzebiel-gmina wiejska
A place of execution situated in such an exposed spot was to warn against offences. Inside the gallows, at the beginning of the 20th century, a lime was planted as a symbol of justice. The gallows is the only such historical monument that has survived in the Lubuskie voivodeship. The gallows with the lime tree growing inside constitutes an important element in the cultural landscape of the district of Żary.
The facility was built on the initiative of Christoph von Biberstein, the owner of State Country Żary-Trzebiel, between 1519 and 1550.The owners of the State Country of Trzebiel, the von Biberstein family, had higher judiciary rights (including also offences punishable by death). As it can be supposed, however, the gallows was used only under the rule of the said Christoph, until 1550. Over the next centuries, the unused structure fell into ruin. Only in 1899, the dilapidating gallows along with the surrounding area was purchased by the Lower Lusatia Association for History and Archaeology (Dolnołużyckie Towarzystwo Historii i Archeologii), which carried out necessary renovation works at the facility. At that time, wall edges were bricked up and gaps in the wall were filled with non-original bricks. The gallows’ interior was filled with soil and inside a lime was planted, a former symbol of justice. The area around the facility was cleaned up, and the path leading to the monument was planted with lime trees on both sides. This species of tree did not appear there without a reason. Plating a lime in the place of a gallows was justified by folk beliefs concerning trees. Limes were planted, among other things, by soldier graves, as it was believed that a lime protects the burial place against all evil, and - visible from afar - prevents the place of burial from falling into oblivion. Planting limes in the places of execution or dismantled gallows (e.g. in Lubomierz) was quite a common custom. In many cultures, lime was worshipped as a holy tree having the power of protecting living people against evil emanating from the place of burial. The unique gallows with the lime inside is not only a tangible historical monument, but first of all an intangible heritage of tradition, rites, and knowledge of nature. The place of execution, arranged in such a way by previous generations, offers us valuable information about the functioning of medieval judiciary and daily customs and relationships between people.
The said gallows with the lime three inside is located approx. 2 km to the north-east from the town centre of Trzebiel, by the road from Trzebiel to Tuplice, on plot of land no. 270/10, Trzebiel section, Trzebiel commune. It was made of stone and brick, in a form of a cylindrical well. The facility had approx. 4.8 metres in diameter and approx. 3 metres in height (currently, the height of the surviving wall is approx. 1.5 metres). In the past, in the upper section of the wall, there were 3-4 brick or wooden pillars supporting horizontal execution beams. In the wall of the structure from the south-west, there was a door opening through which, as we can guess, bodies of the executed were carried away.
At present, the gallows is in bad technical condition, with only fragments of the wall preserved; there are cracks, the walls are penetrated by moisture and overgrown with moss. Lack of proper protection and conservation measures over the years resulted in a slow dilapidation of the structure. Adequately exposed, this feature can become a tourist attraction of the Trzebiel commune once again.
The monument is broadly accessible to the public and is one of the main attractions for both the inhabitants of Trzebiel and visitors to the Lubuskie Voivodeship.
compiled by Krzysztof Słowiński, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Zielona Góra, 27-06-2014.
- Magdalena Wojtowicz, Etnografia Lubelszczyzny - ludowe wierzenia o drzewach, Lublin 2012;
- Lech Malinowski, 700 lat Trzebiela, Trzebiel 2002;
- Lech Malinowski, Gmina Trzebiel: czas, ludzie, wydarzenia, Żary 2006;
- Leszek Różański, Szubienice i lipy [w:] Sudety, nr 6/135, czerwiec 2012, s. 20-21; Studia na początkami i rozplanowaniem miast nad środkową Odrą i dolną Wartą, pod red. Zdzisława Kaczmarczyka i Andrzeja Wędzkiego, Zielona Góra 1970;
- Stanisław Kowalski, Miasta Środkowego Nadodrza, Zielona Góra 1994;
Category: cultural landscape
Protection: Register of monuments
Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_08_KK.226