Sunday, 25 July 2010

Medieval history in the making

Eleven years ago, John Lichfield witnessed the birth of Château de Guédelon, the 13th-century castle being built by hand in modern day France. This week he went back to see how work is progressing

It is the year 1241. Good King Louis XI is on the throne of France. The son of Bad King John, "average" King Henry III is on the throne of England and struggling, as ever, against his revolting barons. Medievally speaking, we are in a prosperous and peaceful period. There is a brief lull between two crusades. The Black Death is still a century away.

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Medieval prison’s future as an attraction

A historic prison which has operated in a castle for centuries looks set to close.

Lancaster Castle, parts of which date back to the 12th century, is thought to be the only prison and court still operating in a medieval castle.

But the building in the city centre is also a popular tourist destination and theatre venue, which is said to have become outdated and too expensive to maintain.

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Sunday, 18 July 2010

2,200 'knights' reenact medieval battle in Poland

Some 2,200 "knights" from across Europe donned suits of armour, flowing capes and linen shirts on Sunday to reenact one of medieval Europe's bloodiest battles.The Battle of Grunwald, which took place 600 years ago, still raises emotions among Poles and Lithuanians, who it as a symbol of national pride.

The nights sweat it out during the hour-long reenactment held in a meadow at the village of Grunwald, northern Poland, where Poles, Lithuanians and Tatars united to defeat invading Teutonic Knights in 1410. The spectacle drew 100,000 tourists, leading to traffic jams several miles long and several serious car accidents, the Polish Press Agency PAP reported.

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