Bamberg, Germany
The town of Bamberg, Germamy is over 1000 years old, first settling in the year 900. It is full of medieval and Baroque style architecture.

It felt surreal to wander around old towns like this imagining the history and events that took place. I wouldn't have wanted to live here during the 17th century though. It seemed like anyone was in danger of being accused a witch.

The punishment, if you were found guilty (and most of the time people were), was horrific...burning at the witch pyre. This coming after agonizing torture on the rack, by thumb screws or other means in order to make you confess.

You wouldn't want to get on anyone's bad side. A witch trial had even grown out of a family dispute. You couldn't even trust children whose testimony was often used against adults.

Although witch trials took place in other areas, German Bavaria seemed to be the most severe in regards to the witch hunt, trials, torture and death sentences.

It all started because of unusually cold weather that resulted in crop failures. Blame needed to be cast somewhere. People considered to be witches became the natural target as they were thought to be in cohorts with the devil.

Most of the people tried and sentenced, however, likely didn't even practice witchcraft. There was such a paranoia and hysteria around it that it didn't take much for someone to be put on trial.

Between 1626 and 1631 many people, mostly women and even some children, were executed because they were suspected to be witches. By 1680 death via burning at the witch pyre in Bamberg tolled around 1000 people.
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