Nagold and Medieval Madness

What’s up with all those kilts, large meat on a bone, log throwing and yelling? If you have never been to a medieval fest, you are probably wondering what they are all about. I promise, you’ll have a blast. This summer we visited the town of Nagold and our first “Celtic Fest.”

Farmer’s Market

Medieval Madness farmers market view Wendy© Wendy Payne

Nagold is an absolutely charming town less than an hour from Stuttgart. We arrived on a Saturday morning just in time for the downtown Farmer’s Market. The market was flush with the summer produce of melons, berries, tomatoes, flowers and handmade crafts. Being a fan of these markets, the town instantly was endearing to me.

The Town of Nagold

Medieval Madness Nagold downtown Wendy© Wendy Payne

Nagold is considered to be on the tip of the Black Forest, creating quite the enchantment. This town has very strong beginnings. It is believed to have early settlements sometime in the early Stone Age around 2000 to 3000 BCE. The Celts were also believed to have arrived around the 6th and 5th centuries, which made this the perfect town to host a wonderful, family-fun Celtic Fest.

Medieval Madness fountain view Wendy© Wendy Payne

There is a mild hike from the town of Nagold to the medieval castle ruins which can be seen from miles away. The trail to the castle is beautiful. And if you’d like to take a tour of the castle’s observation tower, it is typically open only on Sundays.

Festival Events

Medieval Madness artisan and crafters Wendy© Wendy Payne

After a stroll through the town, we came to the park where the festivities were held. The full day of events included the “Entrance of the Clans”, the Stuttgart University Pipe Band, a battle on the water and several different Celtic bands. One of the first areas we visited was the “Living History” exhibit in the main park.

Medieval Madness kids activities Wendy© Wendy Payne

Throughout the day there were hands-on crafts for children, creative art work and an archaeological dig.

Medieval Madness musicians Wendy© Wendy Payne

The park was filled with mystical characters like scenes from Robin Hood. One of the funniest sites to see was the “Entrance of the Clans.” After the clans announced their presence with a particular holler, the Mayor of Nagold began the games by trying to force the tap into a very large beer barrel. Gushing out, the race of the clans began to save the beer. The “Highland Games” included log-throwing, something that looked like rock/large boulder throwing, dancing and the battle on the water. Another event included a full canoe with large paddles with a soft end trying to knock the other opponent off their boat.

Medieval Madness entrance of the clans Wendy© Wendy Payne
Medieval Madness canoe and canal Wendy© Wendy Payne

Food at the Festival

Are you wondering what there is to eat at a Medieval Fest? That’s easy. Most of the time options are hand-held and the “smoked meat” like smell can be detected from miles away. Of course beer, wine, sodas and water were at the ready as well as some other fest foods.

Medieval Madness waffle on a stick Wendy© Wendy Payne

Waffle on a stick anyone? This was just for fun but needed to be tried!

Other Ancient Fun

Medieval Madness artisan Wendy© Wendy Payne

If you missed Nagold festivities and would like to find out about a few upcoming medieval fests, here is a list that might help you.

August 29-30th, 2015:  Zunftmarkt in Bad Wimpfen~ Jugglers, artisans, iron works, pottery, children’s fairy tale tents

September 18-20th, 2015: Middle Age Market in Ebernburg (near Rheinland-Pfalz)

July 8-10th, 2016: 11th International Highland Games in Heidelberg

If you really can’t get enough or aren’t going to make the fests, here is a “living history” Museum in Baden-Württemberg. They have several fests throughout the year including a Christmas fest and offer English-speaking tours.

How to Get There

Nagold is approximately 45 minutes southwest of Stuttgart, 2 hours and 35 southeast of Kaiserslautern and 2 hours and 35 minutes south of Wiesbaden. Click on DB Bahn for train details.

Author’s Profile: Wendy Payne is a military spouse and lives with her family in Stuttgart, Germany. She is a freelance writer, blogger and photographer. She also enjoys gardening, hiking, yoga and sharing Europe with people.

Featured Image Photo Credit:  © Wendy Payne

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