Medieval Week

August 7–14, 2016

During Medieval Week we travel back to the year 1361 when the former Viking site on the island of Gotland, Visby was a powerful Hanseatic city. Each year during the second week of August, the Middle Ages reclaim the World Heritage city of Visby.

Medieval Week is the largest historical festival of its type offering medieval music, theatre, local markets, drama, arts and crafts, tournaments, lectures and courses.

The first Medieval Week was held in Visby in 1984 and since then the event has grown and evolved each year. During this unique week visitors, participants, traders and various organizations from across the globe live as though they were part of the Middle Ages. Strolling around medieval Visby is indeed a journey through time characterised by the aromas, the clinking of the blacksmiths and the jesters’ entertainment.

Visitors are welcome to attend performances without wearing medieval attire, apart from a few events and these events are clearly stipulated in the program. The organizers however, do encourage everyone to dress up in medieval costumes, if possible, in order to further enhance the feeling of being present in a medieval town!

The festival program for Medieval Week comprises more than 300 entries and a number of the most popular features return year after year. The highly appreciated jousting is a given, as well as the large local market held in the Visby Botanic Gardens (Gotlandsänget) that continues to expand and improve each year. Theatre, music, lectures, traditional fire shows and even a great party night on Strandpromenaden, a five-kilometre-long boardwalk, are also always on the program.

During Medieval Week many other locations on Gotland, aside from Visby, offer local markets, theatre shows and exhibitions. Each year many new shows are added to the program, such as in 2006 when Sherwood Forest was moved to the gardens of Åhsbergska Hagen in Visby and when the County Museum started a prince and princess school for children. In recent years, new additions incorporate recurring themes; one such initiative tackled the transition period between the Viking Age to the Medieval Period.

Experience over 300 events that combine history, myth, truth and partying.