on the pics for full size.
Germany was united into one modern state in the 19 ´th century, it
consisted of several independet
principalities and kingdoms.
Each kingdom had their castle,
and each castle their dungeon.
The most well-known today is
the castle of Nürnberg, but there were many others.
Hard criminals such as murders and traitors were, as in most other countries
at that time, executed.
So who were the unlucky souls, who were locked away in chains down in the
foul and dark cells,
condemned to a life in endless boredom and misery?
A report from an officer, who once
was ordered to escort one of the Kings young mistresses
to the dungeons,
because the King had made her pregnant, may give us some of the answeres.
"Get down the
stairs whore !"
"All her yewellery are yours Master Jailer,
if you asure, we never will see this dirty slut again!"
After having delivered her to the jailer, he made an inspection
the rest of the prison, before returning home.
having unbolted the heavy rusty iron door, the guard pulled it open.
A nauseating stench reached my nostrils, as I in the
flickering light from the torch saw a girl sitting in the filthy
straw. Unaccustomed to the sudden light she held her hands
before her eyes. The guard
told me it only was an unimportant girl. She had been
there about six months. He didn´t remember why. Maybe she just had been too
pretty, he said laughing. Then he shut
the door again with a hollow bang, drew the bolts in, and
turned the key in the lock.
iron door revealed a nice young woman. She had been there
only one week, and had not yet realized, she was going to spend the
rest of her life here chained to the wall. She was a foreigner.
She and her husband, had been traveling through with the coach, on
their way home, after a trip to Rome. He had got drunk and gambled all his money
away. It was decided, he was allowed to go home, if he would
leave his young wife in the city´s custody.
If he ever should come back with the money, they would take
and tell him the interests had gone up, and he had to pay
more. The guard told laughing. Only one thing was
certain, he said, the little floozie would never leave her cell
In a third cell were two
prisoners. Both were naked, and tried to hide their intimate parts from
us. The blond girl looked up at me. Her
eyes were blue but reddened of crying. After slamming and locking
the iron door, leaving the two girls to the pitch-darkness again, he told me, she was
Because she was a noble, she had
to bring her maid with her.
She has now been standing in chains for a week.
She had been in a troupe of actors. The sheriff had given
them a fine. When they couldn´t pay, he had kept her, because
she was the prettiest.
common thief ! With both her hands and her feet chained to
the wall, she will never steal again.
prisoner here was known as a believing, honest and helpfull woman.
The jailor said, he thought she was there by mistake. That was
why he had given her a cell, with a small barred opening in the wall, letting in
a little daylight and some fresh air, and had not chained her hands.
It was the only prisoner he felt any sympathy against.
But of cause she will never be released.
we opened the door, this girl thought we were comming to fetch her,
because her husbands gambling debts had been paid.
The jailor told her something els !
When the door was slammed again, she began crying hysterically.
young French prisoner, told us with a low voice, her name was
Michele. She had not been there long. She still had fine
hair, and most of the filth in the cell was from
it´s former occupant, who had died last week.
Michele seemed to have fallen into total apathy.
The jailor said, she and her fiancé had been passing through, on the way to
Rome to get married. When the authorities discovered, they were
travelling together without yet been married, they ordered the young
man to leave the country immediately.
the girl !
was so unlucky, that a young
noble man fell in love
This was of cause an impossible relationship.
His family arranged, that she disappeared for good.
In the deapest part of the
are the special prisoners from the King´s Court kept.
one of these deep cells the occupant had long run out of tears.
I had to hold my handkerchief before my nose against the stench.
When she looked at me, with an empty expression in her face, I could hardly recognize her.
had been 5 years since I last saw her at a ball at the King´s court.
At that time, she had been the most beautiful women present.
next prisoner I recognized at once.
I had seen her at the Kings latest ball only 2 days before, and had
even danced with her.
The jailer told me she had arrivede only yesterday, and that she was
still dazed and suffered from a mighty headache from the strong
drugs, which had been put into her wine late in the evening,
at the ball in which I had met her.
Newly arrived from the country side, this young woman,
belonging to the landed gentry, had
been a refreshing personality at
the rigid and formal Court.
A bit to provocative to some - it seemed.
could at once tell from the stench, that met my nose, when the next
door was opened, that the prisoner in this cell had been there
for a long time.
She had once been the Queen´s maid. One night she had gone
into her mistresse´s bedroom, and had accidently seen Her Highness
in bed together with an important man from the goverment.
Even she had sweared, she would tell nothing to anybody, she had at
once been seized by the guards, and brought to this place, to keep
a cell further down the passage, was the chambermaids mother. After not having heard a word from her
daughter for a year, she had shown up at the Court and had demanded to see her.
Permission was granted !
They were allowed ten minutes together, before the mother was taken to another cell and chained
permanently to the wall - just
like her daughter.
The prison was always heavily overcrowded.
new prisoners had to live in the courtyard
for some time before a cell got available.
Lucy, the daughter
of an important Officer, who
was stationed fare away in the colonies,
is wakening up from the drugs given
to her at a ball the evening before.
from the same ball
is beginning to wake up.
The giant headaces from the strong drugs
put in the wine before their abductions
can last for days.
Young women and girls
are sitting all over the place, waiting for a prisoner down in the dungeons shall die, so they can take her
There is no danger
for any of them shall escape.
The prison is heavelig guarded, and
all newbies are forged in chains at once.
This girl tried to
run away from her jailers.
As punishment she stands chained to the wall.
in all kind of weather.
The important ones
goes down ahead of the others, so
sometimes it take many months, before the unimportant pristoners
get chained up in their own cells.
basement cells were also put in use,
so as many women as possible could be held secured
To prevent these prisoners from drowning, they were
chained to the ceiling durring the few weeks,
they spend there, until they could get their own cell.
Finally this girl
has got her own cell.
After the guards have locked and bolted the door,
she lie down in the moisten straw in her future home, in which
the former occupant
died only a few hours ago.
This will be her home for the rest of her life.