A new way to experience the Middle Ages

Spearing the Dragon

A new way to experience the Middle Ages

Spearing the Dragon

In August each year, everything goes a little crazy in the Upper Palatinate town of Furth im Wald. History becomes the present day in the arena on the town square. Around 300 amateur actors stage Germany's oldest folk play: the "Drachenstich" or "Spearing the Dragon".

The spectacular performance gives audiences a chance to experience the Middle Ages from the year 1431 thanks to the elaborate props and historical costumes. Thrilling battles on foot and on horseback guarantee action and attract young and old spectators into the arena.

The story focuses on the eternal conflict between good and evil: A violent dragon threatens the town of Furth. Only the pair of knights, who govern the town, can defeat it. Just as the elegant female knight is about to sacrifice herself to the dragon to save the people of Furth, the brave knight spears the dragon. Thus he saves both the town and his lover.

Playing the starring role in ``Spearing the Dragon``

The female knight is played by Sandra Bierl. Playing the starring role in "Spearing the Dragon" is a childhood dream for her: "I have always dreamt of one day playing the female knight", says Sandra, who was born in Furth. The passionate horse-rider has been participating in "Spearing the Dragon" for many years. As a result, she knows the performance inside out, as well as most of the other performers.

Sandra Bierl Hauptrolle 2016

Together in the play and in real life

The 24-year-old had to wait to be chosen by the knight, however – tradition dictates that the person playing the role of the knight chooses who will be his partner. It is a good job that this year's knight, Michael Horn, is Sandra Bierl's boyfriend in real life! It was obvious to him: He had to pick his partner to play the female knight.

'I have always dreamt of one day playing the female knight.'

They have to go through numerous rehearsals before the première performance. They have to learn their lines and master their roles. Playing the pair of knights is a great honour for everyone from Furth. "Spearing the Dragon" is what the town is known for. The inhabitants have been performing the play since 1882.

Sandra Bierl mit Ritter Michael Horn

Of horsemen and robots

The three-week "Spearing the Dragon" season begins at the beginning of August with the procession of over 250 horses. A medieval barn becomes the popular meeting spot. Around 20,000 guests come from around the world to see the "Spearing the Dragon" performances.

Besides the pair of knights, the play also presents a local star: the Dragon of Furth. The steel dragon impresses from afar: It is 15.5 metres long and four metres tall. The colossus is the largest four-legged walking robot in the world. As such, it is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. It can spit fire, roar and beat its wings. Four people are required to operate the high-tech dragon.

Der größte vierbeinige Schreitroboter der Welt

Everyone in the region is familiar with the phrase: "Furth lives as long as the dragon dies!" The play shapes the everyday life of the almost 9,000 inhabitants of the town in the Upper Palatinate. Young and old are still infected by the "Spearing the Dragon" virus to this day. Proof of this can be seen in the pictures on the walls of houses, in the statues and the menus in the local restaurants; Why order a cup of tea when you can order a dragon blood beer, a dragon steak or a dragon sausage? Welcome to the Middle Ages!

Next date: 3th to 19th August 2018

Further Drachenstich

Further Drachenstich

Drachenstich-Festspiele e.V
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address: Stadtplatz 4, 93437 Furth im Wald
Tel: +49 (0)9973 50970
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email: drachenstich@furth.de
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web: //www.drachenstich.de