In Germany, a place to get downright medieval
July 19, 2013
Travel back in time to the Middle Ages.
No time machine, you say? You don’t need one.
Medieval festivals and knights jousts are a highlight of summer entertainment in Germany and other parts of Europe.
They can pop up anywhere but are often held in castles or historical towns with half-timbered houses and cobbled streets that make the perfect setting for a step back into history.
One such event takes place in Angelbachtal, Germany, less than 20 miles southeast of Heidelberg. This year, it’s set for Aug. 11-12.
The park of Eichtersheim Palace is turned into a medieval fair with colorful tents, a jousting field and booths selling everything from chain mail to soap. Many of the craftsmen selling their goods also demonstrate how they were made in days of yore.
The sound of medieval music wafts through the air, as does the smell of freshly cooked food. Grilled sausages, skewers of pork and freshly baked flat bread smothered with cheese and herbs are there for the eating. And it wouldn’t be the Middle Ages if there weren’t beer, wine and mead to imbibe. But unlike in those days, the water here is safe to drink.
Magicians, jugglers, musicians and puppeteers entertain and fill the time before, between and after the main event — the knights jousting tourney.
At galloping speeds, the knights spear rings with their lances, whack targets with their swords and launch spears at a wild boar — OK, a stuffed sack made to look like one. Then face-to-face, lance-to-lance, sword-to-sword, they battle until they have a champion.
Afterward, the knights and their maidens, their squires and knaves stroll across the grounds along with the foot folk and villagers.
Remove the visitors with their cameras and cell phones and you feel as if you have taken at least a couple of steps back into those days of old, when knights were bold.
ANGELBACHTAL MEDIEVAL FEST When: The Angelbachtal Mittelalterliches Spektakulum takes place Aug. 11 and 12 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. , with the jousting tourney at 1 and 6 p.m.
Costs: Admission costs 12 euros for adults and 7 euros for ages 6-16.
Food: Booths will be selling an array of food items.
Information: See ritterfest-angelbachtal.de. Find more medieval events in Germany at http://mittelalter-zeitreise.de/termine.php.
Future medieval fests
● In Freisen, near Baumholder, Germany, Aug. 3-4;
● Hedingham Castle, Essex, England, Aug. 25-26;
● Warwick Castle, Warwick, Warwickshire, England, daily July 20-Sept. 1; warwick-castle.com;
● Giostra del Saracino (joust of the Saracen), Arezzo, Italy, Sept. 1; giostradelsaracino.arezzo.it.