Quoting Wikipedia on Guillotine:

The guillotine remained the official method of execution in France until the death penalty was abolished in 1981. The last guillotining in France was that of torture-murderer Hamida Djandoubi on September 10, 1977.

What happened next? Have they been dismounted? This does not seem really plausible because of their importance in French history. I suppose a couple of them are in history museum, but what about the others?

  • 7
    They use them to make the fries now. ;-)
    – T.E.D.
    Apr 23, 2012 at 18:45
  • 1
    What numbers are we looking at? How many executions were there in France in between 1970 and 1977, say? Perhaps they kept one instrument at a central facility?
    – Drux
    Feb 1, 2015 at 12:44
  • I agree with Drux's question. Did every hamlet and town have their own G.? At their heyday, how numerous were they thought to be?
    – CGCampbell
    Feb 2, 2015 at 16:27

3 Answers 3


Yes, all guillotines have been dismounted. Public executions are no longer popular, and even the memory of them is not something most people want to face. While executions were originally public, they gradually became less so: execution times changed over the 19th century to happen in the dead of the night, then at dawn; in 1939 (a lot later than in most other European countries) the law requiring executions to be public was repealed and executions were henceforth held in prisons.

Nowadays, you'll find guillotines in museums or in private collections throughout the world. The French Wikipedia article gives the whereabouts of a few of them. This is not an exhaustive list by any means.

According to this thread, the last guillotine that was in operation is now in the Gendarmerie school in Fontainebleau (not publicly accessible).

  • 4
    Public executions used to be the norm all over Europe. The UK stopped public executions and then switched to more effecient hangings which would break the neck quickly rather than strangle the victim. Strangelation is good for showing off, but if you're doing it private you want a clean job. Nov 11, 2011 at 10:08
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    Do you have a source (french or english) for your statement: "Yes, all guillotines have been dismounted."? That is actually the part I am looking for. Thanks for the answer.
    – Gopi
    Nov 11, 2011 at 21:51
  • @Gopi I may have been using the wrong word. You can no longer see guillotines in the place where they were formerly used (town squares or prisons), as far as I know (though I do not have a reliable source for that). Some of the guillotines in museums or private collections are in working order. Nov 11, 2011 at 22:01
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    @Gilles Ok, I see what you mean by dismounted. Then when I asked if they were dismounted I meant "destroyed".
    – Gopi
    Nov 12, 2011 at 12:08

I know the cat garden in Dubrovnik has one, I even took a photo of it myself:

Cat garden in Dubrovnik

  • 5
    what do they have against cats?
    – boisvert
    Oct 7, 2016 at 15:45

There's one in the Museum of Police next to an actual police station in Paris, Quartier Latin. Address: 4 rue de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève - 75005 Paris

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