We were in Germany and visited Burg Satzvey last weekend. They host a medieval market and Judith had been there multiple years as a kid and even if it wasn't Jonathan's first medieval market, it was definitely one of the best ones for us both.
We're excited to show you all the pictures of the market, the camps of enthusiasts who live close to medieval conditions for a few days, the shops that sell blades, mead and the stands that show off the old crafts.
Since we were lucky enough to get a room on the castle, we didn't leave and stayed a good part of the night and could hang out with the blacksmiths, the actors and peek behind the scenes a little, use flint and steel as a lighter and shake hands with the 2 meter tall berserker.
For this blog post, we have thought of something a little different, the headlines will be in German and we'll throw in a few German words in the captions and no, you don't have to pronounce them angrily in your head ;)
Medieval markets have grown popular over the last years, at least in Germany. In Denmark there are some as well, some very commercialised, others very authentic.
If you haven't visited one, you can imagine them a little bit like a concert. You go there with your friends and you meet people that are friendly, that do amazing things on stages and if you bump into somebody they apologise and ask you if you're ok. That's the good ones at least. Even though everybody is armed to their teeth, you feel strangely safe and well.
People don't look at you weirdly when you ask if you can pet their dogs and people make room so the kids can stand close to the stage.
This dutch little fella was paw-giving for cuddles as soon as you would kneel down
A former rescue dog of one of the guests
All the partcipants and craftsmen have to slow down during these days as their everyday life is getting close to the speed that people lived in the medieval ages. They have to cook on fire and do other slow tasks, and their relaxed mood spreads towards everyone else. It's the exact opposite of a rushy big city with lots of irritated people in it.
the soap bubble man would grab kids and make giant bubbles with them
Klöppeln or bobbin-lacing
Babies, toddlers and kids of all sizes were present and usually had a great time sword fighting or just letting in the scenes
the right window was ours
The castle is an amazing location, very intact and is still exclusively inhabited by German royalty. The castle has been owned by the family for centuries, and for decades they have used the place as location for various events throughout the year.
The market is big and beautifully arranged into the woods and fields that surround the castle. The many camps stretch out far and families or just groups camp for a few days to put on a show and enjoy being thrown back to the medieval ages for a while.
The camps have their own colours, banners and uniforms. The roles of the characters range from maids to knights you can even find the occasional not historically accurate, but incredibly cool knight-woman. Historical accuracy is not the focus of Satzvey, but having a great time. ;)
The crafts displayed range from the smithy over knitting, klöppeln to falkners who bring their trained hawks, eagles and owls to armorsmiths who exhibit the different patterns of chainmail that were invented over 600 years ago.
The falconers Die Falknerei der Grafen had brought multiple Uhus, eagle owls and hawks which seemed the most relaxed of all the birds, together with an actual eagle (which we didn't see, though).
The Harris’s Hawk Paula.
The European eagle-owl Irene.
The Siberian eagle-owl Ronja.
The game of mice lets visitors place bets on which house the mouse will enter.
There is also a stable where the knight's horses hang out before they need to get into action.
The Tournament of Satzvey
The tournament is the centralt point of the medieval market at Burg Satzvey. It gets produced specifically for this event every year, and the stories always contain a reason for the market and tournament to take place. Often, they are based on a wedding or coronation that will host the event, and everyone can feel like a part of the history of the castle.
The countess herself is part of the production team and participates as actress and stunt woman herself. The group is called Ritter der Burg Satzvey.
The knights performared several tasks. The most interesting ones for us as photographers were of course the ones containing fire!
If you stay a little longer after the show has ended, you can watch how some of the knights give some lucky kids a round on the back of their horse, and how these horses have some fun in the sand after the done work.
Feuer und Schmiede
Fire and Forge
At night the guests leave, for the most part. The ones that have chosen the medieval weekend-life as a retreat or well beloved hobby, stay.
The sounds and sparks of the smithy are very hypnotizing and we honestly lost track of how much trivia and actual knowledge about smithing we picked up that night.
The smith was very insisting to try out the flint and steel lighter, so who were we to say no? The zunder, the initial flammable piece in this ancient lighter is something called a Zunder-mushroom. Credits to Schmiedekunst Gillandt for teaching the peasants ;)
The bar-shack is open and mead, beer and some... well newer inventions flow through the taps and there usually is a nude-bathing hot-tub around. Lots of reasons for tired faces and dark eyes the next day.
The next day for us was to drive north for 250 kilometers by car in the burning sun, so that was fun ;P
If you live anywhere close to Burg Satzvey or just in western Germany by some description, we can only recommend you pay that place a visit for one of the medieval events!