The Ducal Festivals of Guise
Les Ducales de Guise
Guise (Hauts-de-France region)
A whole weekend of celebration and entertainment with a festive and family-friendly spirit and a wealth of animations, shows, displays and workshops to immerse in the daily late of the Late Middle Ages in the spectacular scenery of a French castle
Geographical, cultural and historical context
Guise is an agricultural centre located on the hills by the river Oise, in Hauts-de-France region of northern France, near the border of France and Belgium. Originally a seigneurie, Guise was erected into a countship in 1417, Count of Guise and Duke of Guise being the titles in the French nobility starting from that year. Guise famous for its Castle which was the seat of the House of Guise, a French noble family, the cadet branch of the ducal House of Lorraine The Dukes of Guise and their sons played a prominent role in the French Wars of Religion, a prolonged period of war and popular unrest between Roman Catholics and Huguenots (Reformed/Calvinist Protestants) in the Kingdom of France between 1562 and 1598.
Landmark of the town is the fortified castle first built with timbers in the 10th century and later rebuilt with the local stones in the 12th century. The castle is dominated by the imposing keep. In the 16th century the dukes of Guise allowed the construction of one of Northern Europe's biggest bastions, which would later attract the attention of Marquis de Vauban (1633-1707 AD), Marshal of France and the foremost military engineer of his age. The castle was heavily damaged by shellfire during the WWI. Later in 1952, it was repaired by the local Club du Vieux Manoir, and thanks to the continuous efforts in restoration the fortified castle of Guise has become one of the top historical tourist sites in the area.
Event description and programme
The glorious medieval past of Guise relives every year in Summer thanks to the festival “The Dukes of Guise”, which was traditionally held on the first weekend of August, but since year 2018 moved to June, and features an interesting crafts market where local artisans demonstrate their work, living displays illustrating the daily life in the Middle Ages, knights’ tournaments, on horse and on foot, a medieval fashion show, banquet and music performances which provide an immersive in-sight into clothing, food and entertainment of the period. The rich programme includes also guided visits to the castle, medieval animations around the civil and military encampments, courteous games of chivalry, demonstrations of artillery, games and pastimes and a medieval farmhouse, and special school day programme on Friday.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Event official website: http://www.ducalesdeguise.fr
Event official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Ducales-de-Guise-723214571183576/
Club du Vieux Manoir
Address: Ancienne Abbaye du Moncel, 60700 Pontpoint, Picardie, France
Tel.: +33 (0)3 44723398
Guise Castle / Château Fort de Guise
Address: Allée Maurice Duton, 02120 Guise, Picardie, France
Tel.: +33 (0)3 23611176
Guise Town Council / Mairie de Guise
Address: 91 rue Chantraine, 02120 Guise, Picardie, France
Tel.: +33 (0)3 23618080
E-mail: contact form online
Picardie Tourism Regional Committee / Comité Régional du Tourisme (CRT) de Picardie
Address: 3 rue Vincent Auriol, 80011 Amiens Cedex 1, France
Tel.: +33 (0)3 22223366 | Fax: +33 (0)3 22223367
Northern France experiences by CRT de Picardie
The official page of the Northern France tourist board in the UK
Image: Club du Vieux Manoir
Text sources: Club du Vieux Manoir, Wikipedia, Château Fort de Guise, Guise Town Council
Guise and its castle on Google Maps:
Promos and video reportages of the event:
Exploring Guise and its Château Fort: