Este, at the Estensi Court

At the Court of the Estensi Lords
Alla Corte degli Estensi
Este (Padova, Veneto region)

Geographical, cultural and historical context

Este, a town located at the foot of the Euganei Hills, boasts very ancient origins as witnessed by several archaeological finds related to the so-called Este culture, a proto-historic culture lasting from the 10th/9th century BC to the 1st century BC). During the Iron Age Este was a major center of the Veneti tribes, an Indo-European people who inhabited northeastern Italy roughly corresponding to the modern-day region of Veneto. In the late 3rd century BC peacefully became a Roman colony under the name of Ateste and flourishing until being devastated and reduced to a rural village by barbarians in the late antiquity. The rebirth took place in the 10th century, when Azzo II d'Este (997/1009-1097), Margrave of Milan and a powerful nobleman in the Holy Roman Empire, built a castle there and named himself and his family after it, thus establishing the House of Este, a European princely dynasty that hold the city until 1240, when it moved its capital to Ferrara. Este joined the Republic of Venice in 1405 enjoying another long period of economic and cultural growth. Este’s remarkable artistic and historical heritage attracts many tourists every year, thanks also to its special location within the territory of the Colli Euganei Regional Park, the proximity to spa centers and other artistic cities, the ancient tradition of ceramic art, as well as the folklore and cultural events held all year round and finally also the fine cuisine and wine tasting tours.

Event description and programme

The Este Medieval Association organizes every year the event “At the Court of Estensi Lords" which makes to relive the magical atmosphere and the glory of the Lords of Este. Inside the castle is commemorated the main historical event of the city which took place in 1257 AD, when Este was freed by his master Azzo VII d'Este (1205-1264 AD), from the harsh occupation of the warlord Ezzelino III da Romano (1194-1259) during the Guelph-Ghibelline wars in Medieval Italy. The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions in the Italian city-states of central and northern Italy supporting respectively the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor.

Azzo, also known as Novello, was Marquis of Ferrara from 1215 to 1222, and again from 1240 until his death, sided with Pope Innocent IV (1195-1254 AD), while Ezzelino, an Italian feudal lord and member of the Ezzelino family, in the March of Treviso, was a close ally of the Frederick II (1194-1250), King of Sicily from 1198, King of Germany from 1212, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 and King of Jerusalem from 1225. After regaining the castles of Calaone and Cero, the great captain Azzo enters the city welcomed by joyful people.

By entering the intact city walls of the Castle of Este the visitors start a breath-taking time travel back to the fascinating Middle Ages, at the time of the Marquises of Este and their court. The programme includes a full-scale reconstruction of a chess game with living pawns, music and dance shows, performances of flag-throwers, jugglers and other acrobats, knights joust, medieval encampments and taverns, a gregorian mass, guided tours at the local museums and castle walls, the archery tournament, the historical parade, the crafts market and medieval banquets. Highlights of the event are on Saturday the great reenactment of the night attack at the castle and the burning of the tower, on Sunday the great historical parade through the streets and squares of the old town.

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Associazione Este Medievale
Address: Via Giovanni XXIII n.118 - 35042 Este (Padova), Italy
Tel.: +39 0429.56315

Este Town Council / Comune di Este
Address: Piazza Maggiore, 6 - 35042 Este (Padova), Italy
Tel.: +39 0429 617511 | Fax: +39 0429 600632

Image: Este Medievale
Text: Este Medievale, Wikipedia, Este Town Council

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