Cultural heritage flows through every alleyway in Visby, with hand-laid cobblestones, fascinating medieval architecture and hundreds of unique buildings surrounded by a mighty 3.5km long city wall. All this provides the perfect backdrop for Medieval Week (Medeltidsveckan) each year in late July/early August, when Visby is transformed into to a hanseatic medieval city. The streets teem with life, with everything from jesters and maidens to street music and artisans. Poor people and nobles, monks and knights all mingle together in a delightful mix and the scents from the medieval kitchen will tempt you try the grilled lamb, wild boar or stew of the time.The 32nd annual Medieval Week will be held from 2 to 9 August 2015.
The legacy of the Middle Ages
It's hard to avoid being swept up in the atmosphere during Medieval Week. With 92 well-preserved churches, almost all from between 1100 and 1300, the whole island is a trip straight into the Middle Ages all year round, but Medieval Week is particularly special. All around Gotland you’ll find markets and events, where devotees live in tent camps, wear medieval costume and prepare food over open fires, often selling their homemade crafts. Even if you don’t take on a medieval role yourself, you are just as welcome to take part in the great range of festival activities. Just walking around Visby's cobbled streets and mingling with the entertainers and buskers is an experience in itself.
Even before Medieval Week kicks off, the festival's coolest, and perhaps most anticipated, event runs throughout July - The Tournament (Tornerspelen). Jousters meet head-to-head in a spectacular, but always noble, fight for Visby’s favour. If you want to experience something really special, visit the fire game (eldspelen) in Lojsta where The Tournament plays out, for one evening only, in the twilight.
For more information and the Medieval Week Program see Medieval Week 2015.