Etterbeek’s Medieval Market: A short journey to the Middle Ages

The Cinquantenaire hosted a medieval market between 22 and 24 May 2015. It was the 23rd edition of the Etterbeek’s Medieval Market. About 180 exhibitors, from Belgium, Spain, Germany, France and Poland joined the event.

Bells & other accessories

Bells & other accessories

The Cinquantenaire is one of the largest parks located in the heart of the European Quarter in Etterbeek, one of the nineteen districts of the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium.

A medieval tent

A medieval tent

The Cinquantenaire’s name comes from the French “Park of the Fiftieth Anniversary”. Because Brussels is officially bilingual the Dutch park name is Jubelpark, which means Jubilee Park. Do not get confused with the names in Brussels! It has happened to me very often! I was born in a country where the cities’ and other places’ names are preserved in original.

For examples someone asked me once whether I have ever visited Cologne. “Cologne”? “I have never heard of it”. Soon after I realised that the question was about the German city of Köln.

A medieval carrousel

A medieval carrousel

The park looked as a medieval camp of tents under the trees, with medieval flags, which was an attraction equally enjoyed by children and adults.

Horse riding

Horse riding

The weather was sunny and the park was full of visitors. For some hours, we all had the chance to go back to the Middle Ages.

The Cinquantenaire's fountain

The Cinquantenaire’s fountain

Some of the exhibitors proved their skills in front of us: making the 15th century’s beer and serving it to us, showing the making of ancient glasses, performing with medieval instruments and running a costume parade. The hosts also provided food.

Books & bookmarks

Books & bookmarks

We also admired pots, jars, jugs, pitchers, crucibles and many other vessels, made out of clay and sand.

Glazed ceramics

Glazed ceramics

Stands with food and ancient cooking were also on display.

Most of the exhibitors wore cloths from the Middle Ages. There were interesting shapes, forms with strong and clashing colours.

Toys

Toys

A funny carousel and a horse riding area were among the most favourite attractions for children.

We noted that most of jewellery was made from natural raw materials: gemstones, bird feathers, wood, clay, silver, bones and many others.

There also was an area dedicated to traditional games, where children could play some of the Middle Age’s games, with simple accessories made out of wood and raw metals. For some hours, children forgot about their computers and tablets.

Medieval glass

Medieval glass

The Medieval Market of Etterbeek brought many forms of artistry to nowadays. Among others there were pieces of ancient folklore, gastronomy, the sound and the rhythm of the medieval music.

Stilt walkers, arbalests (crossbowmen) and clowns completed the picture of a great journey to the Middle Ages.

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