Medieval Week celebrates its 40th Anniversary
You cannot enjoy a closer experience of the Middle Ages as on Gotland and in the Hanseatic city of Visby. There are over 100 Medieval churches and ruins here. The inner city is ringed by a wall with battlements and towers, old alleys and customs warehouses with stepped stone gables. These set the scene for Medieval Week, which takes you 700 years back in time. With Medieval markets, jousting, archery competitions, jesters and performances in the ruins, all provide a sense of genuine time travel. Medieval Week has won a major tourism award, has been named Tourist Destination of the Year and for 40 years has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from all corners of the Earth.
Market and Magic
Medieval week is the biggest event of the year for many people, and has even become a kind of pilgrim trail for some visitors wishing to experience the magic during this August week on Gotland.
The market is full of stalls offering food and drink from a different age. The air is heavy with the aroma of barbecued wild boar and pancakes tossed high in the air, the sweet scent of toffee apples and grilled almonds.
At the market, you can also buy new hose and coarse woollen clothing, hear blacksmiths hammering out tools and weapons, or try your hand at archery and axe throwing. Many craftspersons make and sell their wares made from wood, silver and leather, and you are welcome to haggle if you feel brave enough.
Jesters, jousting and archers
The programme usually contains up to 600 events large and small, you just have to pick and choose. Learn more about that age via fascinating courses and lectures or be entertained by sagas, stories, jesters and musical performances for both adults and children.
In Strandgärdet, a park area north of the city wall, you can experience the Tower Games with beautiful horses and brave knights, lazy squires, a loud mouthed herald and last but not least, skilled archers who do everything to entertain you. Here, knights and archers compete for your pleasure in many different competitive events. Finally, the knights meet in exciting lance jousting to win the coveted floral wreath.
Battle of Wisby
Every second year, Medieval Week organises the Battle of Wisby. Several hundred participants from around 20 countries come to Gotland to re-enact battles in Mästerby and Korsbetningen. Commentary on the battles is provided by a knowledgeable guide and the re-enactment of the Battle of Wisby is as historically accurate as modern historical research can suggest.
Accommodation during Medieval Week
Medieval Week has its own festival campsite. The campsite is located on Galgberget in north Visby and has both a contemporary and Medieval area during the Week. Campsite tickets also include a Medieval Week Pass.
Medieval Week Pass
A Medieval Week Pass entitles you to access to the festival areas with numerous free stages, markets and performances, a discount on entry to Gotland Museum and priority booking for tickets for the entire programme. Passes and tickets can be booked online in advance, or bought on entry, subject to availability.
About Medieval Week
Medieval Week started in 1984 and celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2023.
The 2023 festival runs from 6–13 August. Around 600 events are held during the week. Most are in Visby, but the whole island is involved in the festival.
Medieval Week includes a Medieval market, jousting tournament, plays and archery competitions. Many participants wear period clothing.
For the tournament games alone, one of the popular programme events, 750,000 tickets have been sold over the years.
Thousands of people are involved in Medieval Week: stage crew, craftspersons, lecturers, market participants, artists, guides etc. The Medieval Week office has around ten full time employees, who are joined by a couple of hundred volunteers during the week itself, who act as hosts, stewards, food vendors, and cleaners.