Historisches Burgenfest in Manderscheid, Germany is the closest medieval festival to Spangdahlem AB. It takes place among the two Mandersheid Castles that we have visited. We heard about it shortly after we arrived in Nov of 2013 so it was on the top of the list to check out this August. If your wanting to go next year they’ve already updated the website with the dates for August of 2015.
Let me just give you this quick tip, if you need gas get it on Friday the day before the festival. If you wait until Saturday and try to get it on base you’ll be stuck with long lines at the pumps and at the registers, we found this out the hard way!
This was the first festival that we have been to here that we’ve had to pay to get in. It was €10 per adult, unless your dressed in medieval wear then you can get in for €7. Kids ages 12-17 are €4 and under 12 are free. We only had Bea with us so it cost us €20 to get in. I’m still trying to decide if it was ‘worth’ the cost but Mr. B says that it was 😉 I will say that I did check another medieval festival that is 1.5 hours away and you have to pay to get in for that as well, so I’m assuming it’s because of the costs associated with these types of festivals that they charge admission. I hope to attend the other one next year and compare. Also note if you go to see Niederburg outside of the festival its €2 per adult and €1 per child, but I was also glad we had already visited them as they were way to crowded to enjoy during the festival, at least for me.
There is free parking for the event, just follow the P+R signs and you’ll be directed where to park. The shuttle to the event is also free as well. The shuttle bus runs ever 10-15 minutes and leaves when it’s packed to standing room only.
At the shuttle stop near the parking you can pay for your entry and receive your hand stamp, that way you don’t have to wait in the line when you arrive at Neiderburg.
These are the signs for the shuttle stops, just remember whichever way you came to the burgs you need to go back that same way.
If you paid at the shuttle stop you enter to the right, if not go left and pay there.
When you enter there was stand with a guy selling wine.
I love the shape of the bottles!
The main highlight is the jousting event but seating/standing for viewing can be interesting. We arrived to the jousting area at 1:30 pm for the 2 pm show. The seating on the hill was already starting to fill up.
There is a standing area as well as an area for children to stand. The only problem with this was that some of the kids were quite tall and it made trying to take photos or video very hard! I’d suggest you try to get seating on the hill if your wanting to do that.
The program was also all in German and lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes, which is fine if you haven’t been standing the whole time plus 30 minutes prior. We actually ended up leaving the area before the actual jousting started to get food. The above photo is just a sampling of the crowd around the jousting area.
Bea got to pet a camel and she was ecstatic, said she crossed off a bucket list item, LOL! I do have to say that the ambulance kinda ruins the ambiance of the medieval theme 😉
We got to watch them cut an apple off a guys head with a sword, you don’t need English to find that entertaining.
One guy missed and whacked the guy in the head, good thing he had a helmet on.
The yellow & red stage area is where they had musical performers, there was seating in front of it as well.
There is also plenty of food stands. If you want to avoid long lines make sure to get your food before the jousting event ends, after that the lines become very long. The prices were reasonable. We always bring a backpack and carry water as we’ve found most festivals don’t offer water and drinks can be expensive. The sodas were €1,50 for a small bottle. Beer was €2,50-4 and wine was €4,40 but €2 back when you returned the glass.
We sampled amazing potato chips with a garlic sauce for €3, potato cakes for €3,60, and a shank sandwich for €4, they were delicious!
Sorry we devoured the pork sandwich so fast I didn’t have time to take a photo, guess I was hungry!
There were waffles as well but my friend got one and said it wasn’t good, it looked like they were overcooking them.
A small section near the food stands offers a view back into life during the medieval times.
There are restrooms, a building that has several stalls by the food area as well as a portable building. And 1 restroom (1 men and 1 women’s) in Neiderburg.
There is a market that is located inside Neiderburg, although it was quite crowded when you pack stalls & people along this narrow path. To avoid the crowds and make shopping a bit easier arrive at the market when it opens as it was very calm when we arrived around 1 pm. When we checked it out around 4 pm before we left it was like packed sardines, which I’m not a fan of. They had jewelry, hand made soap, local honey, candy like turkish delight, wood crafts, and more!
They were marking the soap by hand on the spot!
This guy was a funny fellow to watch as he entertained a group of kids.
I took some videos to share in case you weren’t able to make it in person.
Overall we had a fun time and ate some yummy food! It was a great way to spend the day hanging out with some friends and checking out a local festival.
Know Before You Go:
Where: The castles in Manderscheid, Germany
How To Get There: It’s about 30 minutes from Spangdahlem. If using your GPS put in Manderscheid BUT make sure to select the one near Wittlich and not the one near Bitburg or you’ll go the opposite way of the festival as a friend recently found out.
What: Historisches Burgenfest a medieval festival
Cost: for 2014 was €10 adults, €4 or children ages 12 to 17, and children 11 and under were free.
How long: Plan on at least 3 hours, but could easily be there for several more hours. There are fireworks late on Saturday night.
Where to find info: Above links