Landshuter Hochzeit - Part Two

In my last post, I ended at the point where we were "caught" by three big, medieval, German men, my wife, Jessi, was forced to put on a helm and carry a spear to entertain them and I was made to capture the scene with my camera for their future entertainment. Ok... ok... that's not exatly how it turned out. The correct version is: the guys were really friendly and they were actually helping us capture the Landshuter Hochzeit in one shot - with Jessi wearing a helmet and carrying a spear. The 2nd version just doesn't sound that dramatic.

Shortly after that, a crew of colorfully-dressed peasants from the Middle Ages along with their weapons and musical instruments showed up. There must have been about 20 of them. They also had a wagon that was being pulled by a horse. The musicians were walking in front of the band whereas the "soldiers" were behind. At least one of them looked like he was part of the cast for Lord of the Rings. If you look closely at the picture on the left, you'll probably figure out which one I'm talking about.

Next, we made our way towards the "old city". The most prominent building you are bound to notice when you get to the main street is the Church of St. Martin (Martinskirche). This church is the highest church in Bavaria and the highest brick building in the world, with a height of 130.6 meters. For more details on the Church of St. Martin, click here.

Since we were there pretty early, there was not much of a crowd yet and we could easily stroll along the main street without imposing ourselves or being imposed by others. There were many cafes and bakeries along the way and at that time of the day, they were still allowed to have their tables and chairs outside, along the walkways. As the crowd built up and the festivities really started, the store owners were required to remove their furniture from the sidewalk.

There were platforms with benches set up all along the main street for visitors to better observe the festivities. Of course, you needed a ticket to get a seat there. Many families saw the Landshuter Hochzeit as an opportunity for a family outing and picnic. They brought along their picnic baskets filled with rolls, coffee and tea for breakfast, blankets to snuggle under when it gets cold, collapsible chairs to seat on and even champagne to celebrate. They looked like they were having a good time.

There is a society specifically for the Landshuter Hochzeit and I was told that only people whose origins can be traced to Landshut in the Middle Ages are allowed to join it. A person would basically have to prove that his or her family tree is connected to the original inhabitants of Landshut in the medieval times. Only members of this society are allowed to dress up in their medieval costumes and take part in the activities during this festival. Not only that, their costumes also reflect the status of their ancestral families. Most are dressed up as peasants but there are some who dress up as nobles, indicating that they were a family of nobles during the Middle Ages. This requirements keeps a sense of authenticity in the Landshuter Hochzeit that is unlike other medieval festivals.

Next, we made our way up the hill towards a former fort. But that's for the next post.