Graefenstein Castle hosts medieval fest

by Petra Lessoing
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Knights perform sword fights at the medieval fest at Graefenstein Castle which takes place Saturday and Sunday. — Courtesy photos

Graefenstein Castle near Merzalben will be the stage for a medieval fest today through Sunday. The event, organized by the community of Merzalben and the Historica Vagantis medieval group, will feature knights, vendors, craftsmen, musical entertainment, show fights, fire shows and children’s activities.
The medieval group Staufer Vassallen will demonstrate how people lived in the Middle Ages, and knights will present sword fights. Comedy duos will entertain the audience and play tricks on them.
Juggler Timelino will present his fire show at 10 p.m. Saturday. Music groups will perform medieval songs on unique instruments.
Children can fight against strong Vikin

Graefenstein Castle near Merzalben is the stage for a medieval fest Saturday and Sunday.

gs, join crafting and pottery, play games and test archery.
Visitors can watch craftsmen showing off their work such as blacksmithing, weaving, wood and stone carving, pottery, soap making and basket making. Vendors will offer herbs, spices, medieval clothes, jewelry, furs and berry wines.
A variety of eating and drinking specialties will be available.
Fest hours will be 11 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission fee is €6 for adults, €2 for children, and children shorter than a sword (which is 1.30 meters) are admitted free. The weekend ticket costs €10.
Graefenstein Castle is a rock castle near the town of Merzalben. The upper castle is built on a 12-meter-tall oval-shaped sandstone, with a keep with seven corners and a great palace, three floors tall. In the lower castle, there are parts of the forcer and remaining walls. In its beginning, Graefenstein served as an administration center for the surrounding farms and villages, and had the defense capacity.

A medieval band and a juggler perform during the medieval fest at Graefenstein Castle.

In 1220, Graefenstein Castle was first mentioned in a document. During the Thirty-Years War, Graefenstein was burnt down accidentally in 1635, when imperial troops, who used the castle as garrison, were careless with fire. From then on, Graefenstein Castle has been ruins. In the 20th century, the castle was partially renovated. It is open to visitors throughout the year.
Merzalben is located northeast of Pirmasens. Go on B270 toward Waldfischbach-Burgalben, then left to Donsieders, Clausen and Merzalben. Past Merzalben take a right toward the castle. Visitors can walk up to the castle by foot or take a shuttle bus.
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