Chatel-sur-Moselle, Medieval

Medieval Festival at Châtel sur Moselle
Les Médiévales de Châtel sur Moselle
Châtel sur Moselle (Grand Est region)

a medieval festival featuring medieval reenactors, street entertainment, music and theatre shows, crafts workshops, knights' torunament, birds of prey and artillery demonstrations on the site of a former imposing fortress...

Geographical, cultural and historical context

Châtel sur Moselle, a town located in Northeastern France, has played a quite strategic role throughout its long history up to 1940-44 during World War II thanks to its commanding position alongside the Mosel River, located at the junction of the three main Roman roads and at the end of the Trans-Burgundy highway. From the year 1072, when a first keep was built, the territory belonged to the Earls of Vaudémont, related to the House of Lorraine, who enlarged the stronghold during the 13th century. Since 1373 the property passed to the Lords of Neufchâtel, one of most prominent Burgundian families, who considerably extended and strengthened the fortress in the 15th century to adapt to the modern artillery. Châtel became the centre of a wide territory which supported the Burgundian cause for years. The fortress was After returning to the House of Lorraine in 1544 the fortress changed hands several times over years before being completely dismantled in 1671 by order of King Louis XIV of France. Besides the medieval fortress, the local heritage includes also the 16th century Gothic Church of St. Lawrence and the 18th century convent of Notre-Dame de Châtel-sur-Moselle.

The Châtel fortress is one of the most important sample of the military medieval architecture in the Lorraine region. Built on the edge of a jutting limestone promontory alongside the Mosel River, surrounded by 58 m wide dry ditches, the castle dominated the medieval town and its surrounding walls with its twelve towers and two main gates. At its heyday the fortress was defended by two curtain walls with a total combined length of about 1.4 km and comprised not less than 22 towers. A sophisticated network of storerooms and galleries completed the defensive system and allowed communication between the castle, the town downwards, and the river banks. Fallen into oblivion after the destruction during the 1670-1671 winter, the ruins extend today over more than 5 hectares. The visitors can access three floors of subterranean galleries, the double artillery wall in front of the large ditch on the north side, the artillery boulevard on the south side in front of the Mosel river. On site opened also a museum devoted to display the artefacts found during the archaeological excavations.

Event description and programme

Every two years, usually in May or June matching the Pentecost weekend, Châtel-sur-Moselle organizes the Medieval Feast to relive the glorious era of the Middle Ages with living history displays, crafts workshops, guided visits of the fortress ruins, birds of prey and artillery shows, demonstrations of fighting techniques, knights’ joust and tournaments, music and theatre performances. Leisure and educational activities await the visitors, who are continuously involved into the life of Middle Ages by re-enactors in the historical camps and craftsmen’ village where they can meet several historical characters of the period, including jugglers and fire-eaters, and learn more about medieval medicine, politics, warfare, skill games, art and culture and entertainment. Horse parades and theatrical performances complete the rich programme of initiatives. Finally, the visitors can also enjoy the medieval tavern offering period and traditional food and drinks throughout the event.

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Association du Vieux Châtel - Forteresse Médiévale de Châtel sur Moselle
Address: 6 Rue des Capucins, 88330 Châtel-Sur-Moselle, Lorraine, France
Tel. : +33 (0)3 29671418 ! Fax: +33 (0)329676492

Châtel-sur-Moselle Town Council / Mairie de Châtel sur Moselle
Tel.: +33 (0)3 29679014

Image: Association du Vieux Châtel - Forteresse Médiévale de Châtel sur Moselle
Text: Wikipedia, Association du Vieux Châtel - Forteresse Médiévale de Châtel sur Moselle, Châtel-sur-Moselle Town Council


Châtel-sur-Moselle and its fortress on Google Maps:



Promos and video reportages of the event:




Exploring Châtel sur Moselle and its fortress:





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