The Katovna (Executioner’s) in Odry
The building named the Katovna (Executioner's) in Odry no longer serves to imprison and torture prisoners. Rather, it now introduces tourists and visitors to the history of this city's prison system.
First mention of the Katovna, or prison, dates back to the mid-sixteenth century. Despite the name, which would suggest that executions were conducted here, no prisoners were put to death in Odry. Odry did not have its own executioner, and so they had an agreement in which convicted criminals were transported to Opava. In Odry, they were “only” imprisoned and tortured.
In the mid-nineteenth century, a District Court was formed in Odry, and the Katovna was transformed into a prison with several prison cells. One of the prisoners held here for vagrancy was writer Jaroslav Hašek, persecuted for disturbing the peace at a tavern on one of his backpacking trips.
Today, the Katovna houses a museum that introduces visitors to the history of the prison system in Odry and is also the departure point for guided tours of the city of Odry.