Historical festivals in Bavaria

Tourists and locals can enjoy all kinds of festivals again this year, as every visitor gets their money’s worth here. Some regions spare no efforts and bring their cities’ past back to life with historical festivals. Visitors of all ages can enjoy a magical journey back in time there.

Landshuter Hochzeit © Die Förderer e.V. / Christine Vincon

Festivals in every direction you look

The county town of Röttingen has been inviting audiences to open-air theatre at Brattenstein Castle for the Frankenfestspiele festival for more than 30 years now. An impressive programme is on offer there from May to mid-August. The beautiful castle courtyard becomes a stage for musicals, operettas, plays and concerts during this time. Culinary indulgence doesn’t come up short either. Combining good Franconian wine with the richly varied programme in particular makes the Frankenfestspiele in Röttingen a unique experience. This year visitors can look forward to Monty Python’s™ Spamalot and several guest appearances by well-known artists, among other things.

From Röttingen we cross right across the state again where Waldmünchen invites us to the “Trenck der Pandur”. The town’s residents go back to the year 1742 when the famous notorious colonel of the pandurs corps Franz von der Trenck wants to pillage and destroy Waldmünchen and other villages in the Eastern Bavarian region in the name of the Austrian Empress. Wild jousting scenes, true to the original costumes and the roughly 300 actors’ skills that have been amazing the festival’s audience for more than 60 years.

One of the most famous and largest historical events in Europe has been taking place a bit further south since 1903: the Landshut Wedding 1475. The residents in the old Bavarian ducal city of Landshut on the Isar have been inviting people from all over the world to this great spectacle annually to start with, then in a three-yearly cycle but now every four years since 1985. Roughly half a million visitors then admire the more than 2,000 citizens who bring the city’s most stately event to life again in thousands of authentic costumes. Unfortunately, the next time that the Landshut Wedding is being held is not until summer 2021 but it’s well known that anticipation is the purest form of pleasure.

Knights and dragons

There are also one or two thrilling spectacles on the programme for those who love a touch of adrenaline. The Kaltenberger Medieval Festival, for example, transforms the grounds around Kaltenberg Castle into a unique medieval scene packed with countless entertaining artists, festive pageants, authentic market stalls and not forgetting the spectacular knights’ tournament show in the Kaltenberg Arena. Over 1,000 knights, musicians, acrobats and minstrels whisk the tournament’s visitors away to the fascinating world of the Middle Ages including culinary delights and cosy taverns. The children’s knights’ tournament always on Sundays during the event weekends where young visitors can slip into the role of a medieval character themselves is particularly interesting to families.

From Kaltenberg we head north east towards the Spearing the dragon festival in Furth im Wald, where it’s not just children who are amazed as Germany’s oldest folk play is home to the Furth dragon, the biggest four-legged walking robot in the world. Experts from all over the world have managed to create a unique sensation. At 5 metres tall, 16 metres long and with natural movements, the high-tech monster instantly captivates visitors to the festival, especially when the Furth dragon starts breathing its incredible impressively long bursts of fire into the air.

 

Whatever your age, Bavaria’s historical festivals whisk all visitors away on an authentic journey into a medieval world packed with delicious treats, entertainment and fun.