Manderscheid Castles: Where past meets present at annual castle festival

  • Published
  • By Iris Reiff
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The ruins of two fortresses, the upper and lower fortresses, will form the background for a medieval castle celebration Aug. 25-26 at the health resort of Manderscheid, located in the heart of the historical Eifel.

At the Turnierwiese -- jousting meadow or training grounds -- at the foot of the Niederburg or lower castle, a group of knights from Duesseldorf will create a jousting place where on the two days of the tournament, the knights on their horses will battle with lances, swords, bows and spears.

Minstrel singers and small singing groups will present songs and ballads from three centuries ago. They will accompany dances from the 15th and 16th centuries on historical instruments. A small village will be built on the jousting meadow to show what life was like in the Middle Ages.

A traditional handicraft market will be set up the same time and will remain open on both days.

The festival will officially kick off Saturday at 11 a.m. with the opening of the market, followed by a variety of music and theater performances, including jugglers, stilt walkers and medieval singing performances.

Historical fighting scenes by the "Loewenritter" or Lion Knights, who will be dressed in their armor suits, are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on the jousting meadow. Entertainment by a street musician is scheduled for late afternoon. Games and plays will occur in the festival area throughout the afternoon. Concerts, belly dancing and singing performances occur in the early evening.

Additional fighting scenes are scheduled for 9 p.m. A giant fireworks display is scheduled to take place later on at night, about 10:30 p.m. over the Niederburg castle.

More entertainment and dancing will follow the fireworks display under the motto "Taverna Spectacle."

Sunday's activities continue with musical performances, fairy tale stories and other events and performances starting at 11 a.m. The market will open at 11:15 a.m.

Middle age actions, including a jousting tournament by the Lion Knights, kick off at 2 p.m. and additional historical fencing performances following at 6 p.m.

Entertainment continues on until about 10 p.m. when this year's Manderscheid historical festival comes to an end with a concert and Great Curfew.

Entry price to the event is 8 Euros for adults, 5 Euros for adults dressed in a medieval costume and 4 Euros for children ages 12-17. Children younger than 12 get in for free.

Americans are especially invited to join in the celebrations of a festival which is unique in the area.

Artists are always present and performing their acts throughout the day. There is also plenty of entertainment for children.

Also, Manderscheid's two castle ruins can be visited daily throughout the year. The Oberburg, upper castle, dates from the year 973, and the Niederburg, lower castle, was first mentioned in 1173.

Entry is 2 Euros for adults and 1 Euro for children older than 6. Children younger than 6 get in for free. It's open daily from 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. with shorter hours from November to March.

Manderscheid is located north of the Moselle River, directly north of Autobahn A-48. To get there, take a right outside the main gate and follow the signs. Stay on the main road once in Manderscheid until the first main intersection. Take a right at this intersection, following the signs "Zu den Burgen" or to the castles. A shuttle bus service will be available from the center of town to the castles. Visitors may follow the signs to the designated Park and Ride parking lot.