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8/31/2016

Of knights and knaves, maids and warrior maidens

ritterspiele
At last! The eleventh edition of the Medieval Games is taking place and AT LAST I get there! It took a long time to find my way to the tent camp at Sluderno at the foot of Churburg Castle.

Treats for the purse

The simple stalls with their canvas walls and roofs captivate visitors thanks to their wealth of wares on offer. Long dresses made from satiny cloth, flowing cloaks from tough Loden fabric and sturdy leather armours cause me to stop again and again. Alongside these, heavy iron swords, slim and elaborately decorated daggers, curved bows made of smooth wood partly sheathed in leather, arrows with colourful feathers … nothing escapes my watchful eye. Clusters of simple jewellery and various decorative and useful items made of clay, glass, wood and wool vie for attention: all demonstrating the authentic nature of the event just as described on the Internet website.  

Treats for the tastebuds

It's well known that lots of looking around, walking and fighting makes you hungry and thirsty. Visitors and performers are not just supplied with food and drink better known these days by other names – a 'Rittersohle' (knight's sole) is really a Wiener Schnitzel and a 'Fleischlanze' (meat lances) is really a Frankfurter – but some surprises await as well like cherry beer and hemp bread. [gallery link="none" ids="1986,1987,1988"]  

Bread and games

As it was in the times of the ancient Romans and the Middle Ages, so it is today. Swords, axes and lances are crudely swung, meet their target with a clatter and a clash, and sometimes break on the metal armour. The fighters wear 20 to 45 kg's worth of armour, making every swing a sporting achievement. If you fall over, you lose.



However, anyone looking for something a little less warlike has a range of things to choose from in the form of jugglers, fire-eaters, jesters and all sorts of musical groups. Entertainment and amazement awaits at every turn.  

To the knights of Schluderns ...

… I'll be back again next year with kit and caboodle and dressed in medieval robes to immerse myself in this new, old world for three days, staying overnight in a tent and cooking over a campfire. Anything to forget the ticking of the clock for a weekend and flee the hustle and bustle of modern life, even though souvenir photos and Facebook posts will turn up in August 2017, too. ;) If you would like to incorporate the event into your holiday, you'll find theright accommodation to visit Churburg Castle (for information write to info@churburg.com) with its large armoury and Glurns-Glorenza, the smallest town in South Tyrol with an entirely intact town wall.
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