“A market that had not been seen there for a long time opened in Tallinn Raatus Square. They met again as before, as stipulated by the order and customs of the Hanseatic city. The people of the city and the creators liked the agreeable initiative, and now the endeavour that started back then has become an integral part of Tallinn’s summer events.”
Today’s Medieval Days have added a dimension that values history, worldview and culture to commercial activity.
The purpose of the Medieval Days project organised by the Estonian Folk Art and Handicraft Union is to raise awareness of the importance of the medieval old town of Tallinn, its beautiful architecture and traditions through playfulness, medieval music and drama. We want to offer the joy of creation to the makers, the joy of participation to the citizens and tourists, and thereby promoting national handicrafts.
The days were opened by a procession from the Viru gates to the Town Hall Square where a spectacular aerial spectacle took place – the show “Magnificent” performed by Grete Gross, Laura Kivistik, and Ile Poikela. The evening was topped off by the nerve-wracking aerial show of the world-class slackliner Tauri-Viljar Vahesaar 35 meters above the Town Hall Square. The musical treat came from the band Bordo Sarkany from Hungary.
Liszt Institute, restaurant Olde Hansa and Tallinn City Museum were the cooperation partners of the Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union and Hopner House.
As tradition goes, the best were selected and crowned with wreaths
Katrin Koch-Maasing – the best master
Eddi Leet – always excellent products and display
Lederverk OÜ – the best product
After the covid pandemic, somewhat on a smaller scale and in a calmer way.
According to tradition, there was still fun, activities and ventures on the Town Hall Square, Niguliste Hill, the Town Hall and Hopner House. There were various performances, city tours and a craft market. Those who wanted could challenge themselves in various workshops, dexterity games, sword fighting, strength training and art school. The most skilful and strongest knights were also chosen at the tournament.
The best masters of the market who we crowned with wreaths:
This year’s crowned masters are
The great Reval Knight tournament on Niguliste Hill was led by the historical fighting club Nordburg! This time, the band Sub Rosa from Hungary brought the most distant musical treat. At St Catherine’s Passage (Vene tn 14), guild masters and craftsmen, novices and apprentices were busy. Popular was the lecture “Imagined in the Middle Ages” by fashion historian Marina Skulskaja (St. Petersburg).
Best at the medieval market was crowned with wreaths once again:
Inventor and whistle maker Daniel Rahuvarm
Ronald Aruorg, a student at Meelis Kihulas Master’s School
Silver Sõrmus, a student at Meelis Kihulas Master’s School
The Grand Reval Knight tournament took place on Niguliste Hill, which was run by the historical fight club Nordburg! Competitors came from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Finland and Israel.
There were also musicians, dancers and other nice people from here and beyond the city wall:
travelling actors Obscurus Orbis (Latvia),
dances with Lathyrus Odoratus,
chamber choir Canorus,
Emand Nadja, who introduced medieval games,
Carousel Company house jesters,
Mistress Kristi from the Great Guild Hall of the Estonian History Museum,
Rondo Danzante – medieval dances,
travelling musician Polina,
bagpipe duo Trorr,
Oriental beauties from Amrita dance studio and Valentina,
Hopner Early Music Studio
Omer Theater with the performance “Complications about St. George”
Hopner Maja put together a varied cultural program.
The best of the market were also revealed:
Wood craftsman – Meelis Kihulane,
Knife maker – Juris Karaseves,
Bone craftsman – Silja Reemet.
The heart of the Medieval Days was the Town Hall square, where the medieval market was with a stage faithful to the era. On Niguliste Hill a medieval village was set up with an archery tournament and a children’s knight school. Bordo Sarkany from Hungary was the main performer of the Townspeople’s party on Towers’ Square.
As an innovation, Diele evening concerts organised by the Hopner house took place.
The X anniversary was modestly celebrated. Traditional events took place: market, children’s mountain, archery tournament, marzipan market. For the second time, Medieval Days were part of the medieval carnival in Tallinn City Hall.
Awarded in 2009
The best craftsman – Gyulmira Ibragimova, a vertical loom weaver from Dagestan
Beautiful product and display – Nikolai Ivanov, Latvian ceramist
Childlike workshop – Natalja Litvinova
This time, their skills were exhibited by Hovinarrit from Finland, Poeta Magica from Germany, Vello Vaher bone twisters, Olde Hansa troubadours, fire eaters, Vaikuse Music studio, and Kiili Old Music Ensemble. Medieval dances could be seen and learned with the Leigars, and young guides gave thematic tours of the Old Town.
The arrival of the staff from old Livonia to create a lasting and permanent marriage union between the nobles of Reval and Marienburg was a proud undertaking. A medieval wedding party following old traditions was held with the help of Tammsaare Theatre, Olde Hansa and the organisers.
For the first time, Tallinna Kinomaja was included in the program of the market days, and in the evenings you could watch medieval-themed films, such as “Dance of Death”, “Reigi’s Teacher”, “Devil’s Tear” and “Times of Wolf Laws”.
There were more craftsmen, masters and artists offering their goods at this year’s market than before. A constant circle of interested people surrounded the workshops of felt hat makers Riina Maitus and Hilda Rütter, Alvar Heiste’s blacksmith’s forge, potter’s wheel of ceramicist Aivar Rumvold and others. Calligraphy specialist Heino Kivihall introduced medieval calligraphy, Katariina, a member of the medieval club Reval, engaged in spinning, and a numerologist awaited visitors in the black tent. Those who were hungry set their feet on the edge of the square, where a piglet was cooked on a skewer. You could also get salted herring, pickles, karask bread etc.