Travel back to the Middle Ages and visit knight’s tournaments and re-enactment of battles in the vicinity of the most beautiful castles in Poland.
Medieval knight’s tournaments and battle re-enactments take place across Europe, but in Poland they are especially popular. During summer almost every weekend people dress theme selves up as knights and take part in jousting, sword fights and other competitions. Travel back to the Middle Ages and visit medieval fairs and knight’s tournaments in the vicinity of the most beautiful castles in Poland. See the battles from the time when the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth ruled an area from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
Grunwald – one of the largest battles in Medieval Europe
One of the most prestigious reconstruction events in Poland is held annually around July the 15th in Grunwald, near Olsztyn (north-eastern Poland). On the fields of Grunwald in the year 1410 the joint Polish and Lithuanian forces, supported by Ruthenian and Tatar auxiliary forces, defeated the Teutonic Order, a German Roman Catholic religious order of crusaders. This battle is regarded as the most important victory in the history of Poland, Belarus and Lithuania.
Experience five days of various tournaments and competitions, or try your skills on archery, sword handling, or horse riding. Enjoy medieval music and eat traditional Polish dishes and beverages. In the craftsmen’s camp, you can buy medieval art and objects and see traditional handicrafts. The highlight of the event is the re-enactment of the battle of Grunwald, which takes place at the end of the festival. The participants in the re-enactment come from different countries, among others, from Germany, Italy, France, Russia and the United States. In 2010, the battle’s 600th anniversary was celebrated. It attracted 200,000 spectators who watched 2,200 Teutonic and Polish-Lithuanian knights fighting and another 3,800 participants who played peasants and camp followers. This event is believed to be the largest re-enactment of a medieval combat in Europe ever held. In the fields of Grunwald you can also visit a museum and a memorial site.
Experience the Middle Ages at the biggest brick castle in the world
After the battle of Grunwald, the Polish and Lithuanian forces delayed their attack on the Teutonic capital in Marienburg (Malbork, northern Poland) in the same year (1410). The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork is the largest brick castle in the world, built in the 13th – 15th centuries by the Teutonic Knights. The castle is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the end of July, the annual Siege of Marienburg is re-enacted. Be an eyewitness of the re-enactment of this unsuccessful two-month siege in 1410. Three days full of medieval happenings: a lively medieval town with knight’s camps, a medieval fair, tournaments, archery, crossbow, jousting and combat competitions.
Golub, on the historic border of Polish-Lithuanian and German territories
On the border of the Teutonic and Polish territories in Golub, the Teutonic Knights at the turn of the the 14th and 15th centuries built the Golub-Dobrzyń castle on a hill looking over the Drwęca river. It became the local Teutonic administration centre – the residence of the Teutonic Commander. Both the city and the castle suffered in numerous conflicts, like the Gollub War in 1422, a two-month war of the Teutonic Knights against the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Every July the picturesque Golub-Dobrzyń castle hosts the International Knight’s Tournament, including a performance of medieval jousting. During school holidays children can attend the Knight’s School.
Spectacular “Golden Rose” tournament in Gniew
At the end of June at the Teutonic castle, built in the 11th and 12th century on the right bank of the Vistula river, in Gniew (northern Poland) the International Knight’s Tournament King John III. A Crossbow competition and jousting tournament, in which participants in full armour attempt to break each others lances or unhorse one another, takes place at this yearly event. The most impressive is the “Golden Rose” tournament, a combination of jousting, light, sound and fire.
A second re-enactment in Gniew (northern Poland) is called Vivat Vasa!. It is the reconstruction of a battle in 1625 between the Swedish army led by Gustav II Adolf Vasa and Polish troops under Sigismund III Vasa. The battle between the kings from the house of Vasa however remained unresolved – both parties had achieved their goals.
Experience knight’s tournaments in medieval settings
In central Poland in the charming spa town Uniejów in the beautiful setting of the 14th century Archbishops Castle and the Castellum the Big Knight’s Tournament takes place every July. Try to shoot with bows and trebuchets, throw a spear or attend The Knights’ Academy to learn about old-time customs and see presentations of costumes dating back to the Middle Ages. During the Medieval Fair, taking place in August, you can watch knights fighting, dance shows and concerts. Near Uniejów, in the vicinity of the Royal Castle, which was erected by Casimir the Great – King of Poland from 1333-1370 – as a fortification, the international knight’s tournament is held at the end of August.
The 14th century Chojnik Castle, a picturesque ruin in the Karkonosze Mountains (south-western Poland) on the outskirts of Jelenia Góra organises each year in August the Knightly Crossbow Tournament for “The Golden Bolt of Chojnik”.
See knight’s tournaments within the defensive city walls in medieval cities
Casismir the Great, king of Poland in the 14th century, built a fortified castle and raised defensive walls with three gates in Szydłów (southern Poland). In in this beautiful scenery the Knightly Tournament for the Sword of King Casimir the Great is held at the end of July. The event is accompanied by horse stuntmen’s shows, performances of bow- and cross-bow shooting, shows of firearms and artillery arms.
In the medieval town of Kozuchów in western Poland, the last weekend in May the knight’s tournament starts with a Latin mess in the Parish church with the participation of knights and ladies in medieval costumes. During three days of fun there is no shortage of booths with tasty regional food. After a day of struggle of chivalry and archery you can see the exciting re-enactment of the battle of Kożuchów from 1309. The day ends with a spectacular fire show.
The beautiful medieval city of Chełmno (Kulm) with preserved city walls hosts over 120 knights from 15 Polish fraternities to participate in the Tournament of the Fraternities Friendship Contest, the main prize is the “Golden Lizard”. Several contests: combat on foot, archery, javelin, combat on ‘Master Paginski’s machines’, a plebeian tournament, siege staging, capturing of the city walls and a battle are taking place. In the reconstructed medieval settlement you can experience medieval live and food.
In the heart of historic Mazovia
The little village Czersk, near Warsaw, was a royal town of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. In 1247-1526, it was the capital of the Duchy of Czersk, one of the medieval Polish duchies. At the Czersk Castle, now a ruin, a knight’s tournament takes place annually in April-May. See knight duels and demonstrations of horse-riding and archery skills. There is also a medieval handicraft fair.
The Polish Knight’s Tournament at the Castle of the Dukes of Mazovia in Ciechanów takes place during summer. in a tent encampment, set up around the castle, Middle Ages enthusiasts eat, drink, and practice their archery.
How highlanders withstood the siege of the swedish army in Wilkowice
Every year in May the annual re-enactment of the Battle on the Scones (1656) in Wilkowice (southern Poland) in the beautiful setting of the Beskid Mountains is reconstructed. Learn about the unknown cards of the Swedish deluge, by watching this historic spectacle – a battle between the Polish Army together with highlanders from Wilkowice and Mikuszowice and the Swedish army.