A historic focus for the whole region

The Burghausen Castle Festival

A historic focus for the whole region

The Burghausen Castle Festival

Artisans, jugglers and nobility – they all throng from the old town up to the narrow mountain crest, from where they are afforded an unforgettable panoramic view of the idyllic scenery of Upper Bavaria. Nestling between the Wöhrsee lake and the Salzach river, the walls of the longest fortress in the world, the castle at Burghausen, stretch as far as the eye can see.

The fanfares sound and accompany the hordes of some 1,500 people dressed in medieval costume with pomp and ceremony. Groups of ancient guilds at the historic market place show the way to the fortress. It’s that time of year again: The town of Burghausen is once more celebrating its castle festival, one of the five largest historical events in Europe.

Meeting place Burgfest Burghausen: A family festival for young and old.

The aromas of bonfires, spit-roasted fish and suckling pig waft through the air. Thirst-quenching options include Met (honey wine or mead), wine and a beer that is specially brewed for the festival and served in traditional tankards. Medieval musicians and actors perform on the large stage on the Waffenplatz, providing visitors from far and wide with a vast array of entertainment.

At the medieval market, traders offer all kinds of medieval treasures: Swords, knights’ helmets, exquisite robes, jewellery and healing stones. “You can buy whatever you want here to recreate the historic life in a camp,” explains the lord of the castle Heinz Donner, head of the “Herzogstadt Burghausen” association.

The mood is exuberant, but peaceful. “In contrast to the beer tent festivals, our Burgfest has remained a family festival,“ says Heinz Donner with pride. Sunday is the traditional family day. Grandparents, parents and children enjoy the colourful hustle and bustle in a carefree ambience.

Whether young or old, from near or far, the Burgfest Burghausen is not just one of the most popular outings in Bavaria, but it also creates a sense of identity for the whole region of Inn-Salzach. “It has become the town’s trademark over the years,” says Heinz Donner.

Experience history live – at the medieval festival at Burghausen

The castle precincts that stretch for more than a kilometre are plunged back in time to the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance  – a transformation that even includes street signs and dustbins. There is no trace of anything with a hint of modernity about it.

“The visitors are given a first-hand experience. Even rooms in the castle that are usually closed to the public are opened up during the festival and peopled with historically costumed guides. “This really brings history alive,” says Heinz Donner, who has been organising the festival for 14 years now. He is also in historical costume. “I play the role of the Vizedom – the state governor – of the town of Burghausen.”

Burgfest Burghausen

Castle festival: Tradition since 1913

In the second weekend in July every year the “Herzogstadt Burghausen” association issues an invitation to the three-day festival at the castle. The more than 600 association members have made it their task to present the whole spectrum of medieval life as authentically as possible – including the castle festival, which the inhabitants of Burghausen have been celebrating for more than 104 years.

'In contrast to the beer tent festivals, our Burgfest has remained a family festival.'

The preparations for the Burgfest Burghausen 2017 are already in full swing. “This year is very special. Our association is celebrating its 50th anniversary,” explains 55-year old Heinz Donner. “What’s most important is that the weather does its bit, because otherwise people won’t come. Around 25 degrees would be ideal,” he says with a degree of optimism. “Then I’ll consider the festival to be a success.”

Date 2018: 13th to 15th July

Historisches Burgfest Burghausen

Herzogstadt Burghausen e.V.
address: 84489 Burghausen
email: burgfest2017@herzogstadt.bayern
web: //www.herzogstadt-burghausen.de/burgfest.htm