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Medieval Festival in Mauterndorf

© by Arnold Weisz

Mauterndorf – a lovely, well-preserved medieval village in the middle of Austria hosts a fun and colourful historic festival every summer.

Time travel a few hundred years back to the Middle age when the entire village was full of people dressed in historical costumes, and armed knights roamed the streets mingling with flame breathers. The Middle Ages come alive at what has become the legendary folk festival in Mauterndorf, an hour’s drive from Salzburg. Every July is a fun event for the whole family for two days during a weekend.

Market, troubadours and flame eaters

Pitoresque Mauterndorf, in the middle of the Alps, is the perfect place to experience the Middle Ages. The historic centre and the well-preserved medieval castle are the ideal festival backdrop. Colourful parades, armed knights roaming the streets, a Viking camp by the river, show battles, and folk dance performances. There is even a bathhouse and a market. Merchants and artisans offer their wares and demonstrate their skills. Along the main street, from the Mauterndorf Castle to the square, you will find many stalls offering spices, medieval weapons, toys, clothes, and more. While you look closer at handicrafts from blacksmiths and wood carvers, you can smell the scent of fresh bread from the neighbouring stall.

Axe throwing and riddle races

You can watch and participate in several activities around the village. How about throwing a battle axe? A number of activities are also organized for the children, such as riddle races and horse riding. You can watch or take part in numerous activities all around the village.

Plenty of food and drink

As expected, a proper medieval party has plenty of food and drink. Many of Mauterndorf’s restaurants and bars have moved into the streets and squares, and visiting stalls offer many good things. There is always something going on around the village. The colourful and noisy spectacle is quite a spectacle.

The big parade

A highlight is a parade through the village, from the castle in Mauterndorf to the main square, where you can see all those who help make this a great folk festival. What a spectacle when the nobles, knights, Vikings, acrobats, flame eaters, jugglers, bands and Italian flag-throwing artists parade through the crowded main street. The parade has plenty of entertainment, but the main show comes at the main square.


Flag-throwing Italians

One of our favourites at the medieval festival in 2022 was the flag jugglers from Italy. The Sbandieratori e Musici “Ducato di Parma” performance was a beautiful and awe-inspiring spectacle. Their performance occurs in the large square at the church’s top (the side with the entrance) was the main attraction. Check out a video of their performance!

During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the flag was waved during military manoeuvres to signal pre-established movements intended for the troops, even at long distances. Moreover, the flag bearer had to defend the flag with his life. In case he was attacked or injured, he would throw the flag to a comrade, thus beginning the practice of throwing the banner high into the sky to land safely in the hands of another. Over the centuries, as war needs changed and the flag’s function in battle ended, this art was forgotten until it reappeared in bands and folklore groups around 40-50 years ago.

Mittealterfest Mauterndorf 2023

This year’s medieval festival in Mauterndorf takes place on Saturday, 8 July, from 11:00 and Sunday, 9 July, from 10:00.

The big parade takes place at 14:00 on both days.

A day ticket costs 8 EUR for adults and 3 EUR for children. A 2-day ticket costs EUR 12 for adults and EUR 5 for children.


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Written by Arnold Weisz

Globetrotting multilingual communications specialist born in Vienna, Austria – with passion for scuba diving, golf and culinary delights! 15 years of experience as a scuba- and travel reporter for among others: X-Ray Dive Magazine and Dykking.