Schwarzenbach, Celtic Festival

CeltOvation, Celtic Festival
Keltenfest Bucklige Welt in Schwarzenbach
Schwarzenbach, Wiener-Neustadt (Lower Austria state)

The Celtic celebration of the Summer Solstice in a beautiful natural setting provides the chance of an enchanting time-travel back to the Age of the Celts to discover the world and the culture of our forefathers in the magic setting of the Schwarzenbach oppidum…

Geographical, cultural and historical context

Schwarzenbach is a village located about 20 km south from Wiener Neustadt, in Lower Austria state, along the border with Hungary, at the southern foothills of the Rosalien mountains and at the eastern edge of the so-called “Bucklige Welt”, a hilly agricultural land also known as the land of 1000 hills, that is rich in meadows, fields and woods. From the 4th century BC the area, inhabited already from the Neolithic Age, was dominated by the Celts who founded a community of great social and political importance, as witnessed by the many archaeological findings and the oppidum (a fortified village surrounded by a moat and a defensive wall built with wood, earth and stones) located on the Burgberg hill and dating to the 1st and 2nd centuries BC.

The oppidum, one of the largest Celtic fortifications in present-day Austria and the whole eastern alpine region, became a main centre of the iron production in the area during the late La Tène period and had a size of 500x300 m and an inner area of about 15 ha. From the 1st century AD until the fall of the Roman Empire the territory was part of the Roman province of Pannonia, while in the Middle Ages a castle was built and the village was awarded the market right (the right to host markets). For centuries Schwarzenbach was then a western border town of the Kingdom of Hungary until 1921, when the area became definitely part of Austria.

In 2005 an open-air museum, the Archaeological Park Schwarzenbach, was opened featuring the faithful reconstruction of part of the Celtic settlement with a gate, several Iron Age buildings and other archaeological models like gardens, cisterns and wooden fences. The reconstruction works have been supervised by the Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science according to the results of the archaeological researches carried out since 1992. The open-air museum gives valuable insights in the daily life of the late Iron Age and is home to several scientific and educational activities tailored for the schools, as well as to Celtic-themed events all year round.


Event description and programme

Every year since 1998 the open-air museum hosts the three-day Celtic celebration of the summer solstice organized by the Schwarzenbach community in cooperation with the Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science. The event combines experimental archaeology and living history activities with a festival of Celtic and Irish traditional music featuring bands and artists from several countries. The scenic location is the festival area on the oppidum former market place, where archaeologists, historical reenactors and living interpreters, all dressed in Celtic costumes, are ready to interact with the visitors providing a vivid experience about the daily life and the history of the ancient Celts.

The festival is a unique opportunity to meet researchers from various disciplines involved in on-site scientific investigations, and offering workshops on experimental archaeology and natural techniques and crafts (pottery, jewellery making, face painting, weaving, spinning, tinkering, leather and wood processing, turning, antlers carving, metal forging etc.). Several multimedia materials and installations, themed exhibitions and lectures, guided tours of the archaeological park and the museum as well as special leisure and educational activities for children families and schools are available. The visitors can enjoy also Celtic cuisine, pony rides, highland games, dance and archery stages, and finally the Celtic market and the solstice fire rite.

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

CeltOvation – Schwarzenbach Open-air Museum

Schwarzenbach Town Council / Marktgemeinde Schwarzenbach
Address: Markt 4 - 2803 Schwarzenbach, Austria 
Tel.: +43 (0)2645 5201 | Fax: +43 (0)2645 5201-7

Verein Bucklige Welt - Regionalentwicklung
Address: Ransdorf 20, 2813 Lichtenegg, Austria 
Tel.: +43 (0)2643 701020

VIAS - Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science
Address: Franz-Klein-Gasse 1/IV - Universität Wien - 1190 Wien, Austria
Tel.: +43 (1)4277 40401, 40490 | Fax: +43 (1)4277 9404

Image: Schwarzenbach Town Council 
Text sources: Schwarzenbach Town Council, Verein Bucklige Welt, Wikipedia, Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science


Schwarzenbach and the open-air museum on Google Maps:



Promos and video reportages of the event:






Exploring the open-air museum:




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