Today, imprisonment is one of the most common types of punishment. However, a few centuries ago, prison sentences were applied in a very different way than we know them today. For criminals, especially in medieval Europe, imprisonment was nothing more than cruel and completely deadly torture.

It was not bloody torture or endless prison interrogations that turned a prison sentence in medieval Europe into a terrible torture. The only cells called the dungeon, that is, the prison itself, were the most terrible punishment for the prisoners. Yes, in the dungeons, called ubliet, physical violence was not used. But darkness, silence and absolute loneliness reigned in these deserted dungeons, the criminals of the Middle Ages were left to die “forgotten” in these terrible dungeons!

Prisons occupy a very important place in the life of modern society.

Deprivation of liberty, built on the idea of ​​rehabilitating the offender and reintegrating him into society, is used throughout the world and is the main method of punishment in modern times. However, prisons were once applied in different geographic regions of the world in a very different way than they are today. For the criminals, or in some way the criminals of medieval Europe, imprisonment was nothing but terrible torture.

In the Middle Ages, very narrow and dark areas were built on the site of castles and castles in Europe.

Many cells were built on the floors of castles and castles in different countries, from England to France, from Italy to Ireland, going deep into the earth. These narrow and dark cells were also used by some homeowners as a secret compartment where valuables were kept. In some periods it served as a sewer. However, these structures also had the peculiarity of serving much more frightening deeds …

These structures in European castles and castles were used as cells where criminals were imprisoned at certain periods.

Some criminals sentenced to imprisonment were placed in these cells. But the cells were not just structures in which a person was kept. Although the prisoners did not subject any additional physical torture, these cells were one of the worst forms of torture of the time. Long after they first appeared, these structures were called ubliets.

Oubliette, a name derived from the French word oublier, meaning “to forget”.

Even the origin of the word shows what a terrible method of torture it is. However, it is known that the term ubliette, which refers both to a form of torture and to the name of the dark dungeons where torture was practiced, was first used by French writers such as Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas after the 18th century.

The buildings, known as Oubliett, were dark, abandoned cells where prisoners were “forgotten”.

Of course, this forgetting was a deliberate forgetting! In fact, the criminals of the Middle Ages were placed in these cells in order to spend the days before death in terrible psychological torture.

The prisoners in the cells were left to die alone!

And yet, in these extremely narrow and dark cells, something accompanied the prisoners. Of course, hunger was one of them! Other wonderful elements in the cells were rodents that caused unbearable pain, especially mice, and the bones of prisoners who used to die in the cell!

Many ubliette prisoners in medieval Europe had to endure extremely harsh physical conditions.


Almost all of these structures were too small and narrow for any person to easily fit into them. In these cells, prisoners could neither stand nor sit properly. Reaching their full length was a pipe dream they could never achieve!

In some graves, excavated hundreds of years later, the remains of people who were shot at the stake were found!

jumping castle

Leap Castle in Ireland was one of those infamous castles where so many people died this way. But when it comes to ubliette dungeons, even such a horrible way to die is perfectly acceptable! Because to increase the dosage of psychological torture applied to prisoners, many more special dungeons were built!

The scariest dungeons were not the ones built on the floors of castles or castles!


Yes, the underground chambers were full of human skeletons and mice. Of course, it was these elements that made the atmosphere, quite scary and gloomy, unbearable. But the above-ground cells were even more painful for the prisoners …

In some buildings, such as the Château de Pierrefonds in France, the cells were built inside the walls rather than on the ground.

pierfon castle

These structures may not have been filled with mice and human skeletons like their underground counterparts. But these cells have led to the fact that the torture of prisoners has increased to incredible proportions.

Because “the voice of life outside” reached the prisoners during their stay in the cell. However, the prisoners could not come into contact with the outside world at all, they could not see outside and waited for death in absolute loneliness… The noise of life outside was an element of torture for the prisoners of the dungeon, even more terrible than mice, darkness, human remains and loneliness…

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