History of the Medieval Days

History of the Medieval Days

“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.

XXIII Medieval Days took place from 7- 10 July 2022

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

XXII Medieval Days took place from 8-11 July 2021

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:
Monika Hint
Küllike Tuvikene
Hilja Sepp

XXI Medieval Days took place from 15-16 August 2020​

This year’s crowned masters are

Andres Kask

XX Medieval Days took place between 11-14 July 2019

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

XIX Medieval Days took place between 5-8 July 2018

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 musicians,
house jesters,
travelling actors Obscurus Orbis (Latvia),
dances with Lathyrus Odoratus,
chamber choir Canorus,
Emand Nadja, who introduced medieval games,
Carousel Company house jesters,
Latte Veetalajas,
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.

XVIII Medieval Days took place between 6-9 July 2017

The big fair of the Medieval Days and the main program took place on the Town Hall square. At the Medieval Days were opening, a procession moved from the Town Hall square to the Small Coastal Gate Bastion for the knight tournament. The idea and production of the medieval tournament came from Ajateater www.ajateater.ee. On all days, activities also took place on Harju Hill, where masters traded in the medieval village with workshops and competitions. The early music ensemble Rondellus and Triskele performed at the evening concerts in St Catherine’s Church. Jaak Juske’s historical tour in the old town turned out to be very popular again. The cultural program is organised by Hopner Maja. Best masters of the fair, crowned with wreaths: The best – Küllike Tuvikene Best display – Raeapteek (Town Hall Pharmacy) Best product – Trummikoda (Drum House) drums

XVII Medieval Days took place between 7-10 July 2016

The Merchant’s Market continued on Town Hall Square with an exciting program. A Medieval Village was built on Niguliste Hill. At the initiative of Ajateater, a knight tournament was held, already expected and loved by the townspeople.

XVI Medieval Days took place between 9-12 July 2015

The biggest innovation of 2015 was the knight tournament at Small Coastal Gate Bastion, organised by Ajateater. It came under the backing of Medieval Days for the first time. Idea and production – Anne Velt, Lars Uus & Ajateater.

XV Medieval Days took place between 10-13 July 2014

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.


XIV Medieval Days took place on 4-7 July 2013

The event was opened on July 4th with a large procession and festive speeches on the stage of the Town Hall Square, a carnival took place in the Town Hall and a lively public party on Towers’ Square. For the first time, Ajateater participated in the days of the Medieval Days, organising Mart’s bread performances and a medieval party evening in Hopner’s house. A Medieval Market was on the Town Hall square, the place for most of the main program, and the Medieval Village was set up on Niguliste Hill with archaic craft workshops.

XIII Medieval Days 2012

The 13th Medieval Days began in a new way. The opening celebrations with a procession and opening ceremony began in the evening, followed by entertainment on the Town Hall Square for the townspeople and those invited to the Town Hall. In a joint procession, we went to Towers’ Square to listen to Latvian medieval music performed by the Auli band. Similar to the previous year, the Medieval Days included the village of masters on Nigliste Hill. The best of Medieval Days market were chosen: Tallinn Paper calligrapher Tatjana Jakovleva Master of Antiquities Merlin Lõiv Hungarian ocarina master Julia

XII Medieval Days 2011

The 12th Medieval Days took place with the support of Tallinn 2011 and within the framework of the Year of Jewelry, more spectacularly than ever before. Niguliste Hill gained a completely new dimension, where a medieval village was built, i.e. the tents of medieval craftsmen with workshops. There was a Lodjakoda workshop (ship-building), a jewellery workshop, a textile workshop, a leather workshop, a soap workshop, and a plant workshop. In addition, traditional classrooms for children and a knight’s school. As always, the best of the Medieval Days market were chosen: Masters of the tannery led by Kristina Rajando Jewellery store masters Anne Roolaht and Harvi Varkki Fighters of the Lonkava Hundi Koda (Lame Wolf Chamber) Tohuvabohu’s handiwork

XI Medieval Days 2010

A new venture was a medieval evening organised in Towers’ Square in cooperation with the Tallinn Flower Festival. A large number of townspeople gathered to watch the medieval-style concert. The medieval carnival in Tallinn Town Hall was a hit. For many guests attending, the carnival is always the highlight of the year. Awarded in 2010 Puppet master Anni Urb Dressmaker Jana Wolke The best workshop – Rändav Lodjaselts

X Medieval Days 2009

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

IX Medieval Days were held 10– 13 July 2008

For the first time, the Medieval Market was called Medieval Days, giving the event a wider dimension than just the fair. As a new initiative, a medieval carnival and archery tournament was organised in Tallinn Town Hall. For the first time, Raeapteek joined the Medieval Days. They shared their knowledge of herbal medicine and the tired townspeople were cheered up by medieval apothecaries. Tammsaare Theater’s performance “Fear and Love in Old Tallinn” also received a lot of attention. The early music ensemble “Ballare” from Latvia and “De Vantrande Kinterna” from Sweden, and artisans from Latvia and Hungary participated as guest performers. Praised in 2008 Eve Tiidolepp – Best Craftsmen Firefox Guild – Letter of commendation for valuable goods Katariina’s Guild House of Hats – for beautiful goods Kango Textiles – for valuable goods A.H. Tammsaare Theatre – for creating a cheerful mood

VIII Medieval Market 2007

We continued to introduce medieval trade traditions at the fair with an added entertainment program.

VII Medieval Market took place on 6-9 July 2006

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”.

VI Medieval Market 2005

These masters were declared decorated and highly recognised craftsmen. Küllike Tuvikene – fabrics made in the technique of blanket printing Virve Eviste – handmade soaps Tiia Mets – medieval-themed handmade-dolls Latvian craftsman, silver/bronze jewellery based on ancient finds.

III Medieval Market 2002

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.

II Medieval Market 2001

For the second summer, the Medieval Market was revived for four days in Tallinn’s old town. The town hall square and the surrounding streets were filled with characters in period clothes, from respectable city lords and ladies to simple townspeople, merchants, jesters and beggars.

I Medieval Market 2000

On the 30th of June 2000, 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. For the participants, a course named “Medieval Primary School” was organised at Tallinn National University of Culture, where lectures were given by Jüri Kuuskemaa, Kustav-Agu Püüman and others.