The term "gibetting" doesn't often come up in hotel tours, but it did almost immediately at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, in Hobart, Tasmania.
The hotel is located right on the city's gentrified harbor and in the oldest part of this city -- the place where where convicts would land starting in 1804, the earliest days of Australia. Let's just say it wasn't a place for coddling, so as a warning to convicts who might be tempted to behave badly, the bodies of the executed who'd already behaved badly were hung from a gallows-like structure and allowed to rot right where new arrivals couldn't miss it.
Which happens to be right outside today's hotel, explained Warren Glover, the hotel historian. (Hotel history tours are free whether you're a guest or not, and Glover's an excellent storyteller.) He'd taken me outside to explain the area's history, and as I looked at the spot where the nasty business was once undertaken, a wedding party streamed around outside, taking advantage a sunny and crisp March day.
So yes, things have changed quite a bit in the past two centuries.
The hotel opened in 2004, on the site of a jam factory which was once the biggest employer in Hobart. The jam factory closed in the 1970s, and in the intervening decades, it became something of a homeless squat. When architects Morris-Nunn and associates were transforming the space into a hotel, they not only kept original architectural details -- the structure dates to 1825 -- but they also preserved some of the more decorative damage done by the building's unofficial residents. A fire started accidentally by a squatter left a pretty pattern on the ceiling in one of the hallway's, for instance. But the art you'll find here is far more than just architectural.