Monkey around in the medieval era

In the north of Zealand you’ll find Esrum Abby, a beautiful abbey located by Lake Esrum. The Cistercian abbey was founded in 1151, and the old buildings of the original abbey that have been preserved offer a unique sight into the history of religion in Denmark. The abbey was a central point for culture, and at one point it owned over one-third of all property in northern Zealand. However, after the Reformation, the abbey was shut down in 1559 and stayed closed to the public until its reopening in 1997. Since then, Esrum Abbey has become a cultural centre with regular events taking place throughout the year.

One of the biggest events is the medieval fair, which takes place every summer. The fair makes the whole place come alive with music, arts and crafts and delicious food. This year you may come across brave knights, clever monks or a flock of troubadours and, asides from the traditional jousting, there are tons of activities for kids of all ages.

Should you be brave enough, you could try your luck as a knight and engage in some sword fighting. However, if you’re more intrigued by the science of medieval times, you may want to visit the monks where you can learn about their discoveries. You can even learn to make your own potions and remedies from various herbs and medicinal plants that are grown in the abbey. On the other hand, if you prefer to just sit back and observe, there are plenty of things you can enjoy: for example, falconry. The ancient form of hunting is brought to life at the fair and seeing the trained falcons sore through the sky is a treat for the eye.

No medieval fair would be complete without some medieval feasting, and at the Esrum Medieval Fair there will be plenty of just that: apples, herring, pancakes and sausages are just some of the things on offer, but the prize-winners are of course the whole-roasted piglets accompanied by plenty of ale.

Half the fun of a medieval fair is the great medieval market that comes with it. There will be stalls aplenty selling authentic products, be it delicacies, clothes or trinkets. The market place is particularly vibrant and guests will enjoy performances by musicians, dancers and other entertainers whilst trying to make a good deal.

The location of Esrum Abbey makes it a great destination for a day trip. The lake close by and the surrounding greens make for a lovely escape from crowded city life, and the medieval fair will be packed with activities and wonders, so that everyone should be able to find something to their liking.

Esrum Medieval Fair
Esrum Kloster & Møllegård, Klostergade 11-12, Esrum, Græsted; open Sat & Sun10:00-18:00; tickets: 95kr, under-15s: 75kr, under-2s: free adm, www.esrum.dk/billetter




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