Hamar Medieval Festival
Middelalderfestivalen på Hamar
Hamar (Hedmark county)
The yearly Medieval Festival in Hamar, a festival for all the senses, with activities and entertainment for both young and old, and where the Middle Ages are brought to life all over again...
Geographical, cultural and historical context
Hamar is a charming and lively town located on the eastern shores of Mjøsa, Norway's largest inland lake, dominated by rolling agricultural areas, among them some of the most fertile grainlands in the country. Hamar offers today good opportunities for outdoor activities, a rich cultural life, and also spectacular museums, such as the Norwegian Railway Museum, featuring old railway tracks, signals, engine sheds, railway stations and other exciting buildings, and the Hedmarksmuseet, providing an insight in the history of the Viking era, the Middle Ages up to the present time. Hamar is named after the old "Hamar farm" (from hamarr meaning "rocky hill" in Old Norse), just a few kilometres away from today's Hamar. Between 500 and 1000 AD, the farm was one of the most important power centres in Norway. Later on, between the 11th and 12th centuries, the town centre was moved to the peninsula near Rosenlundvika, on the headland jutting out into Mjøsa and known today as Domkirkeodden.
After the Christianization of Norway in 1030, Hamar gained more and more influence as a centre for trade and religious pilgrimage, while in 1152 the Hamar Kaupangen was founded as one of the five dioceses in medieval Norway. The town reached its peak in the early 14th century, when it was enriched by several outstanding architectures, like the cathedral, the bishop's manor, and the fortress, and was inhabited by a wealthy population of merchants, craftsmen, and fishermen. Hamar, like most of Norway, was severely diminished by the Black Plague in 1349, and by all accounts continued this decline until the Reformation, after which it disappeared.
The Hedmark Museum, located on Domkirkeodden, is an important historical landmark in Hamar, an outdoor museum with the ruins of the 950‐year‐old Cathedral protected by an impressive steel and glass housing, which is the largest glass construction in Europe, with a ground area of 2,600 square metres. The museum is home also to the episcopal fortress, a beautiful park with an open-air museum featuring a collection of old farm houses, an herb garden, themed exhibitions, the vast photographic archive for the Hedmark region, and much more. The institution is a combined medieval, ethnological and archaeological museum, and has received architectural prizes for its approach to conservation and exhibition.
Event description and programme
The Medieval Festival in Hamar, a great historical event involving all the senses, and providing live-in activities and entertainment for all ages, takes place at the Hedmark Museum in June. Every year thousands of people gather there to experience how life might have been in the Middle Ages, to see, hear, taste and smell medieval crafts, knights, food, brewery, music, while meeting priests, monks, farmers, fishermen, craftsmen and many other historical characters from the period. The festival brings to life the wealthy and powerful Hamar of the Middle Ages celebrating its rich heritage and the ancient traditions and daily life from the time of the diocese creation in 1153 until its decline and end by reformation in 1536. The aim of the event is to disseminate knowledge and explain what it was like to be a citizen in the medieval Hamar downtown. The odours of grilled meat and sweet mead fill the air, the sounds of merry people blend with the thunder of horses that gallop across the open fields and with the noise of sword blades that meet each other, as the knights fight for honour and glory. Merchants sell their goods: bread, knives, pottery, cauldrons, jewellery and many more, while talented craftsmen demonstrate their skills and create wonderful goods.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Middelalderfestivalen c/o Hedmark fylkesmuseum avd. Domkirkeodden
Address: Middelalderfestivalen, Postboks 1053, N-2305 Hamar, Hedmark county, Norway
Tel.: +47 62 542700
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Hedmarksmuseet (cultural historical museum, part of the Hedmark fylkesmuseum AS)
Address: Strandvegen 100, N-2315 Hamar, Norway
Tel.: +47 62 542700 | Fax: +47 62 542713
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Hamar Town Council / Hamar Kommune
Address: Vangsvegen 51, N-2317 Hamar, Hedmark county, Norway
Postal address: Postboks 4063, N-2306 Hamar, Hedmark county, Norway
Tel.: +47 62 563010
Hamar region Tourist Office
Address: Grønnegata 52, N-2317 Hamar, Hedmark county, Norway
Tel.: +47 400 36 036
Text sources: Hamar Town Council, Hedma museet, Visit Norway, Wikipedia, WikiVoyage
Hamar and Hedmaon Google Maps:
Promos and video reportages of the event: