Getting medieval on the grass with a lance

When Marsellus, in the film Pulp Fiction, declared that he was going to “get medieval”, it probably was not four fantastic days of role playing in Valbyparken over the Whitsun weekend that he had in mind.

The highly popular Medieval Fair will once again transport an expected 2,000 guests back in time to the days when swords were swung, axes ground and damsels in distress were rescued by knights bold and brave. Visitors will have a chance to release their inner knights and participate in all kinds of middle ages activities, from the combative to the creative.

The resounding clash of metal against armour can be heard and witnessed during the Battle of the Nations competition in which individuals and teams of three will compete against each other for the chance to represent Denmark in international tournaments. There are strict rules to ensure the authenticity of both the weapons and armour. This is a daily event from Saturday, at 11:00 and 15:00 with the finals taking place on Monday.

The spectacular re-enactments of battles gone by is high on the agenda in the battleground area. Here, different groups will be charging at each other to recreate bloody battles of yesteryear. These noisy, fast-moving encounters with horses, banners, marching armies and falling soldiers begin at 14:00 each day and are definitely one of the highlights, giving a taste of role-playing to the uninitiated.

There is nothing like a bit of old-fashioned jousting to raise the spirits. At 11:30 and 16:00 each day, the tournament area will host the popular and colourful jousting tournaments where, hopefully, the Black Knight will get his just desserts. Here, all the way from Finland, the Rohan Tallit stables will be displaying ancient horsemanship and fighting skills with swords, bows and lances.

After a hard day’s rampaging around in heavy armour, your average knight needs a bit of light-hearted entertainment. This year, the Belarus DiGrease Buffoon theatre group will be entertaining the crowds with their eclectic mix of jesters, jugglers, acrobats, stilt-walkers, musicians and fire performances. If fire is your thing, then don’t miss the all-female Ildfolket (fire people) group who guarantee to add fuel to the flames.

An active interest in all things viking and medieval is fairly popular in Denmark, and several of these passionate and enthusiastic groups are represented at the fair. The Scramasax group will have their own encampment and will be giving hands-on demonstrations of archery, cooking and handicrafts, as well as giving performances. Eventyrridderne target their activities at the younger guests: At the make-up stand, the artists will transform you into goblins or paint on some impressive-looking war wounds. The group will probably responsible for any monsters and witches roaming free around the festival grounds. The group will organise activities for kids including hammer-throwing, role-playing and, of course bow and arrow target practice.

The market area has a variety of stands to visit where there won’t be an electrical gadget in sight. Masks, jewellery, sheepskin and musical instruments are among the medieval fare on offer. Craftsman Jens Perleberg creates exquisite chests and wooden items in the old-fashioned way. Den Sorte Ridder sew a range of authentic soldier’s costumes, while the Middle Ages group Laudator Temporis Acti have an impressive display of authentically-designed helmets and sharp shiny axes. Runesmith has lovingly crafted copper and pewter brooches and bracelets as his wares. The more adventurous guests may decide that this is a time to get their first tattoo after a trip to the Skin and Bone tent. It goes without saying that there are also plenty of medieval drinks and tasty titbits available, so you won’t go hungry.

So, tired of the nightlife in Copenhagen? Perhaps you should give the knightlife a go instead, and take a trip back in time to the Copenhagen medieval market for four days of family fun over the Whitsun weekend.


Copenhagen Medieval Market
Valbyparken,  2450 Cph; starts Fri, ends Mon, open Fri 09:00-18:00, Sat & Sun 10:00-17:00, Mon 11:00-18:00; tickets: adults 90kr, kids 60kr,;