Oettingen: When the copies burst in the historic market in the boiler

A varied program is offered in the historic marketplace in Oettingen. Among other things, knightly tournaments provide enthusiasm.

He sits there happily and enjoys his dinner, holding a slice of cheese in his fingers: Count Wolfgang zu Oettingen has just won a duel in Turney on horseback with his older brother Alexander, accompanied by thunderous clapping, children’s hoots and stomping a foot. It is actors like “Count Wolfgang” who provide the magic in a knight tournament in the historic market square.

Count Wolfgang’s real name is Benjamin Hammer, he is a member of the “Herzog Tassilo Ritter”, a medieval group from Weißenstein. Turney on horseback provides approximately one hour of varied entertainment. The climax of the duel is the six disciplines where the two camps around Count Alexander and Count Wolfgang try to use their skills to collect points and win the tournament. For example, when piercing rings, where you have to pick up three rings of different sizes with a lance. Or to stab a pig’s bladder filled with dragon bile with a flaming spear, when the pig’s bladder is actually an alcohol-filled balloon.

The historical market also provides entertainment as the performers come up with detailed and colorful stories in the background: Count Alexander as firstborn replaced the already deceased Duke of Oettingen. But he does not want to be a good ruler, but is a virtuoso over a glass of wine. That is why his younger brother Wolfgang wants to assert his rights to the Oettinger estate, followed by knight Rainer von der Rosenburg and his wife, Countess Katharina.

For actors in Oettingen, the Middle Ages are a hobby

The real name of Countess Katharina is Daniela Osswald. She is full of her hobbies: “We like to sit together, eat and drink together, and discuss our bonfire performances.” Daniela Osswald is the wife of Alexander Osswald, who played the enemy of Count Alexander. He likes to play the villain: “I like to intimidate, warm people and improvise.” Oettingen in particular is one of the most beautiful markets, behind the whole city, one thing particularly appeals to the show knight: “The tournament area is like a little witch’s cauldron”.

There are a lot of witches at the Historical Market, on the stages of, for example, Roxana or Beltan, they enchant the audience with their skills, without any dark magic. But also jesters such as Orlando von Godenhaven or the two artists, jugglers, the Forzarello jester, who play with jugglers on stages, give the historic market in Oettingen magic that it is not just any medieval festival. This is the time travel market everyone is waiting for, from a kid proudly displaying his wooden sword, to emergency services for safety, to lansquenets and knights who like grilled sausages and clay mugs full of beer by the fire.

Knightly tournaments, camp life and market activities: Saturday and Sunday in the historic market square

Photo: Werner Rensing, Josef Heckl, Verena Mörzl

Last but not least, this magic is also thanks to the organization on the part of the Historical Fair Association and the city, it is a gift and a taking. Sabine Lauterbach, who supports Count Alexander of Turney as knight Roland von Oldenburg, describes the historic market as “the highlight of the year”. The Historical Association puts “an incredible amount of heart and soul” into the market: “We as contractors appreciate this very much, and also the risk of continuing the market after the last two years.” For the first time since 2018, in Oettingen, you can hear the clatter of hands, the howling of children and the trampling of feet – to the accompaniment of muffled thunder of cannons.

Life in the camp creates a medieval atmosphere in the historical square

This ensures, among others The Loyalists of King Gustav Adolf 1632 from Dinkelsbühl, who roar from the cannons in the Heidpark with the actors of the Thirty Years’ War. They also fire muskets, but the “Black Han”, a regimental single pounder, make noise. Black Hanns is served and loaded with flour and semolina for display by Helmut Fischer, who appears as Henning von Fischbach. For him, camp life is one of the most important parts of medieval markets: “That includes the night,” says Fischer. “The Princess” Sylwia can spend the night with the “faithful” in the Princess’s Chamber, which she presents to visitors during the day as a show tent.

Camp life is also an essential part of the actors elsewhere. Sabine Lauterbach loves to “plunge into another world” and slow down: “It’s great to be able to spend a medieval weekend with friends again after the Crown period.” Because it is the most important thing in camp life, being together while the scent of crackling wood wafts through the tents and camps in every nook and cranny.

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