Knights attract lots of tourists

The Grunwald International Festival of Medieval Culture and Music brought together over 600 participants from Belarus and the CIS

The Grunwald International Festival of Medieval Culture and Music brought together over 600 participants from Belarus and the CIS, in heavy plate armour, cotton under wear and knitted armoured hats (without it a metal helmet would sit on one’s head as comfortably as a bucket). Several thousand spectators, keen on spectacular events such as this, enjoyed the atmosphere for two days at the Dudutki Museum of Ancient Crafts and Technologies.


The festival is held for the eighth time and is becoming more diverse from year to year: more military-historical clubs from different countries are keen to come to Belarus to test their military skills at the tournament and take part in the reconstruction of the famous Battle of Grunwald, which gave the name to the festival.

The Battle of Grunwald is a decisive episode of the 1409-1411 Great War when the allies, the King of Poland Władysław II Jagiełło and the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas, defeated the troops of the Teutonic Order having united their efforts.


“The result of the Battle of Grunwald has completely changed political forces in Europe. This is an episode in our history of which we should be proud,” said the organiser of the festival and the head of Berserk extreme theatre, Alexander Rak, explaining the choice of the event that became the foundation for the re-enactment rally. “The Poles celebrate the Day of the Battle of Grunwald on July 15th with a large-scale festival. Lithuania also marks this event while we haven’t had anything similar for many years though our ancestors comprised half of the winners’ army.”

One can argue whether the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania is directly related to a contemporary Belarus yet the festival attracts crowds of tourists to Dudutki. The unusual spectacle was previously attended by those connected with the historical topic but now the knight’s festival is entertainment for a wide audience.







Youngsters come to attend a folk rock concert by bringing tents and staying at the campsite while families with children usually come to experience an unusual weekend and acquaint the younger generation with Belarusian history. There are also those who simply want to go to the countrywide for the weekend. Swords and battle axes clink, bow strings are singing, guns are shooting on the battlefield, horsemen meet in a straight fight and those keen on ancient dance cheerfully tap their feet to the sounds of the bagpipes.

By Victor Kharitonov
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