Past meets present at the Manderscheid historical castle festival

  • Published
  • By Iris Reiff
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The ruins of two splendid fortresses will form an impressive background for a historical castle celebration Aug. 28-29 at the health resort in Manderscheid, located in the heart of the Eifel.

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

At the Turnierweise jousting meadow at the foot of the Niederburg, or lower castle, a group of knights from Duesseldorf will create a spectacle on both days of the festival. On their horses the knights will battle with lances and swords, with bows and spears. The knights are typically the highlight of the annual castle festival, demonstrating their skills with bow and lance, and jousting, knight versus knight.

Minstrel singers and small singing groups will sing songs and ballads from three centuries ago. They will also perform songs and 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 available throughout the festival, and at the market, craftspeople will present their art and talents.

This year's Manderscheid historical castle festival officially begins 11 a.m. Aug. 28 with announcements and musical entertainment. A parade begins at noon. Jugglers, acrobats and stelt walkers can be seen throughout the day. Singing performances by Robert Klein, the Spielleut Cantoris and Filia Irata are scheduled for 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in various festival areas. Jousting competitions with the Bohemian Brothers take place 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Falcon shows are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., a tournament by the Duesseldorf Loewenritter knights takes place 2:30 p.m. on the jousting meadow and a night tournament by the Loewenritter knights will take place at 9 p.m. on the jousting meadow. A giant fireworks display from the lower fortress takes place at 10:15 p.m.

Activities continue 10 a.m. Aug. 29 with a church service. The market will open at 11 a.m. Middle age action kicks off at noon with major historical fencing performances by the Loewenritter knights at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Falcon shows will take place 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Medieval games, historical fencing performances, music, plays and singing will be offered throughout the afternoon.

Street musician Klein will be in the area, and a court jester will entertain from about 1 p.m. on with diverse acts. Artists are always present and performing their acts everywhere throughout the day. There is also plenty of entertainment for children.

Entertainment continues until about 9 p.m. when this year's Manderscheid historical festival comes to an end with a concert.

Entry cost to the event is 8 euros for adults and 4 euros for children ages 12-17. Younger children receive entry free of charge.

A free bus shuttle service to and from the castle is available both days of the festival from a designated Park & Ride parking lot, located in the center of town. The shuttle hours start every 15 minutes Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m.

Manderscheid's two castle ruins can be visited daily throughout the year. The Oberburg, or upper castle is the oldest and dates back to the year 973.

Entrance to this castle is free. The Niederburg, or lower castle was first know to the public in 1173.

Manderscheid is located north of the Moselle River, directly north of Autobahn A48. To get there, take a right outside the main gate and follow the signs. As you get into Manderscheid stay on the main road until you get to the first main intersection. Take a right here and follow the signs "Zu den Burgen," or to the castles. People interested in taking advantage of the free Park & Ride bus shuttle can follow the signs.