Forchtenstein, History Feast

Gunsmoke Historical Festival
Pulverdampf Historisches Festival
Next edition dates to be announced (2013 edition cancelled, the event was last held in 2012)
Burg Forchtenstein, Forchtenstein (Burgenland state)

The Event

Forchtenstein is a village located south of the town of Mattersburg in the rural vineyard region above the Wulka River Valley, in the northern Burgenland state, in Austria. Set of the event is the Forchtenstein Castle looming up among the foothills of the Rosaliengebirge mountain range with its imposing walls and the 50m high keep towering above the building complex. The castle which harmoniously combines a fortress-like appearance on the outside and baroque splendour inside, was built in the late Middle Ages, and later fortified and refurbished by the mighty and wealthy Esterházy House (famous landowner magnates of the Habsburg Empire and one of the most important dynasties in Europe). The castle, also known as the bulwark of the West because it was never captured during the Turkish Wars, served not only as a fortified residence and troops arsenal, but also as a treasury for the Esterházy archives and valuables ranging from weapons and armour to works of art and curiosities (like the largest collection of silver furniture, armors, and family portraits including the world's only preserved head-to-toe image of Vlad Tepes III, better known as “Count Dracula").

Every year the castle hosts one of the greatest historical events in Austria which features hundreds of Reenactors from all over Europe portraying special corps like Hajduks (Hungarian irregular or mercenary soldiers, liveried bodyguard or infantry units, 16th to 18th century) Pandurs (a skirmisher unit of the Habsburg Monarchy largely composed of men from Slavonia), Ottoman units, and also Napoleonic infantry, all in accurate period uniforms and dresses. The audience will enjoy an exciting time travelling over a period of three centuries, from the 17th century to the early 19th century thanks to large historical and military camps with over 60 tents. The event is focused on military shows like spectacular fencing contests, artillery fire and battle scenes culminating in the Turks storming on the castle. But the very rich and extensive programme includes also music and dance shows, crafts market, historical cuisine, exhibitions, parades, performances of flag-throwers, magicians, jugglers and acrobats, living history displays and crafts demonstrations (like oriental jewelry, pottery), guided tours at the castle, the historical camps and the marketplace for families and school groups, and also a variety of leisure and educational activities for children like pony rides and playful training as Napoleon's Grenadier of the Old Guard.

The Programme

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Castle Forchtenstein / Burg Forchtenstein
Address: Melinda-Esterházy-Platz - 7212 Forchtenstein, Austria
Tel.: +43 (0) 2626 81212

Esterházy Foundation / Esterházy Privatstiftung
Address: Esterházyplatz 5 - 7000 Eisenstadt, Austria
Tel.: +43 (0) 2682 63004 446-5 | Fax: +43 (0) 2682 63004/499

Image: Esterházy Foundation
Text sources: Esterházy Foundation


Forchtenstein Castle on Google Maps:



Video reportages and promos of the event:



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