Scaffold (execution site)

A scaffold (French: échafaud, German: Schafott) is a raised, stage-like site for public executions.

Marie Antoinette before her execution on the scaffold.
The execution of Stanislaus Lacroix by John Robert Radclive on 21 March 1902, at Hull, Quebec, Canada, said to be the last public execution in Canada. Onlookers can be seen observing the gallows from surrounding rooftops and telegraph poles.
Calwer scaffold

The execution was practised in public places. The "public spectacle" character of the execution was meant to deter the people from committing crimes, and demonstrate the authority of the Government, while simultaneously acting as a form of entertainment for the masses. For this purpose, the scaffold was often higher than a podium setup, and was therefore also called scaffold.

Initially, beheading by an executioner was usually performed with a sword, axe, or hatchet, later executions were sometimes performed with a guillotine instead.

Scaffold in Hanau, GermanyEdit

In the Wolfgang district of Hanau, on the grounds of the old Argonne barracks, still stands the scaffold named Höfer Heath. On January 11, 1861, after a circumstantial process, the woman-murderer Johann Heinrich Nolte was beheaded. This was the last execution in Hanau. About 20,000 spectators witnessed the event.[1]


  1. ^ Hanauer Anzeiger, 13 and 15 January 2011