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27 July 2018

The best of Namur | Medieval Festival

Hello folks,

One of Belgium's most spectacular festivals, Les Médiévales de la Citadelle, is held once a year in the first week of July in the francophone city of Namur. I had the pleasure of attending the event this month, which brought hundreds of people together to share their love of all things Medieval. It was a fantastic experience to travel back to an age of chivalrous knights, noble dames, and hard-working peasants.

Where better to enjoy a Medieval festival than on the grounds of the historical Citadelle of Namur? The first castle was built in 937, and the complex covers over 80 hectares; it's one of the biggest fortresses in Europe. Furthermore, Namur can definitively claim some of Belgium's most glorious scenery: the view of the confluence of the Meuse and Sambre rivers is breathtakingly beautiful, as you can see in the video below.

Les Médiévales showcases a colourful array of pageants and demonstrations of craftsmanship spanning the centuries, from pottery and glass-making to spinning. The dedication of the actors to historical accuracy adds authenticity to the experience. I particularly enjoyed chatting with the artisans, learning about the culinary creations for children's lunches, exploring the variety of spices added to wines, and discussing XIV-century art with a gentleman at the tapestry maker's tent.

The highlight of the festival was undoubtedly the tournament, staged at specific times throughout the weekend. The exhilarating display of chivalrous combat for honour and courage felt so real that I couldn't help but worry for the safety of the participants. Equally captivating were the bands playing medieval-inspired music on various stages, especially the lady wandering around the lanes with her concertina. If you're a fan of medieval music, this festival is definitely for you.

One of the things my husband and I appreciated was the family-friendly atmosphere of the festival. So, if you have little ones, don't hesitate to bring them along; there are plenty of activities tailored just for them, from theatre performances to medieval board games. It was heartwarming to see how brave the kids were, not even afraid to hug one of the huge ogres!

I want to extend a big thank you to all the organizers, actors, and the people of Namur for being so friendly, positive, and welcoming to tourists from all over the world. I'm already looking forward to returning to the festival in 2019, and this time, I'll be sure to bring along a medieval costume!

This article was proudly written in collaboration with the tourist department of Namur.

medieval festival namur

Citadelle de Namur Belgium

medieval festival of namur

medieval festival of namur

medieval festival of namur

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