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The Kaltenberg Knights Tournament

Knights at the Kaltenberg Tournamen - picture www.ritterturnier.de
Knights at the Kaltenberg Tournament - picture www.ritterturnier.de

“Why don't you fart nor burp? Wasn't the food to your liking?” one cries out of the tavern, a motley dressed juggler demands applause, Thalers change hands, and directly beside the camps of Barbarians, Celts and other farming folks, a sword fight breaks out between squires.

One could assume having been beamed back to Medieval times... but you are just 55 kilometres West of Munich: at the world’s largest knights tournament at Kaltenberg castle!

In 1979, prince Luitpold of Bavaria fulfilled his dream of a real knight tournament, complete with lances, armours, swords, steeds, fanfares, craftsmen, minstrels, quacks, fools - everything one could think of.

Since then, each July tens of thousands of visitors dive into a magic world, where more than 1,000 high-calibre artists put up an epic fight between Good and Evil.

Living workshops present medieval craftsmanship, and hustle and bustle reigns on the medieval markets and all over the castle’s grounds - the building itself partly dates back to the 13th century. There is a huge parade once a day with all involved artists and historical groups. The knights' competition leaves everybody breathless, young and old alike, and at night, during Jugglers's Night (“Gauklernacht”), the boundaries between stage and audience vanish.

More: www.ritterturnier.de

Addendum: In July 2014, The Guardian featured a very complete article about this one-of-a-kind festival.