Knights' Days at Mariefred
Riddardagarna i Mariefred
Next edition dates to be announced (the event was last held in 2015)
Mariefred (Södermanland county)
a great time-travel back to the Middle Ages to meet brave knights and relive the thrilling and breath-taking experience of a tournament, while rediscovering the daily life and chores of a medieval village in the charming and fairy-tale setting of a picturesque small town built around a majestic castle along the beautiful shores of Lake Mälaren in Sweden...
The geographical, cultural and historical context
Mariefred is small town belonging to the Strängnäs Municipality, and located along the shores of Lake Mälaren, at about 50 km from Stockholm, in Södermanland County, in Sweden. The town’s name, meaning "Peace of Mary", originates from the former Mariefred Charterhouse, a monastery, or charterhouse, of the order of the Carthusian monks. Mariefred is a picturesque idyllic town with plenty of history and a relaxing atmosphere, and just like the nearby Strängnäs, it boasts a charming and well-preserved town centre with many small shops, restaurants and cafés. Besides, in summer it’s also possible to reach the town on the historical steamship “Mariefred”.
Mariefred rose around the majestic and fairytale-like Royal Gripsholm Castle, which stands on an islet in Lake Mälaren, and was originally built as a medieval stronghold in the 1370s by Bo Jonsson Grip (ca. 1330s-1386), then the head of the royal council and marshal under the regency of King Magnus IV of Sweden (1316-1374). The castle was later donated to the Carthusians in the 15th century and functioned as a convent until the Protestant reformation: in the 1530s the Carthusian abbey was confiscated and tored down by King Gustav I of Sweden, also known as Gustav Vasa (1496-1560), who built a fortified castle in Renaissance style.
The castle became soon one of the main residences of the Swedish royal house, enjoying its heyday in the 18th century, when King Gustav III (1746-1792) spent several months there every year bringing his entire court, and built a theatre in one of the castle towers, one of Europe’s best-preserved theatres fronm the period. Now the castle serves as a museum, but it is still part of the Crown palaces in Sweden. The castle offers romantic grounds, a fallow deer nature reserve and a unique collection of furniture and artworks spanning four centuries.
In the year 1362, King Magnus IV of Sweden had a series of conflicts with Bo Jonsson Grip (at that time the richest and the most powerful man in Sweden). King Magnus felt a threat for his throne from the part of the Swedish nobility led by Bo Jonsson Grip. So, he challenged his opponent to meet at a tournament, which would put the end to the aristocratic revolt. The challenge was accepted, but on a condition that the encounter should be held at Gripsholm, the favourite castle of Bo Jonsson Grip.
This is the short preface of the events represented during the “Knights’ Days”, held at the original Gripsholm Castle. The highlight of the festival are several knights’ tournaments, combats and training. Besides the exciting fight shows, there are a lot of initiatives to experience and activities to participate. The craft market is open to the public, offering demonstrations and workshops about the period crafts. The visitors can enjoy a stroll in the medieval village meeting archers, troubadours and jesters, or take part in games, tournaments, archery contests and axe throwing lessons. A wealth of leisure and educational live-in activities are especially tailored for children: theater, the “Knight School”, puppet shows, sword painting, archery, pony rides, face painting and jester shows.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Event official webpage: http://www.riddardagarnaimariefred.se
Strängnäs & Mariefred Tourist Office / Turistbyrån Strängnäs-Mariefred
Address; Nygatan 10, 645 80 Strängnäs, Södermanland County, Sweden
Address: Kyrkogatan 13, Rådhustorget, 647 30 Mariefred, Södermanland County, Sweden
Tel.: +46 (0)152 29790
Web (English): http://www.strangnas.se/sv/Uppleva-gora/Start---Turism/English/
Strängnäs City Council / Strängnäs kommun
Address: 645 80 Strängnäs, Södermanland County, Sweden
Tel.: +46 (0)152 29100 | Fax: +46 (0)152 29000
The Swedish Royal Court
Gripshilm castle webpage: www.gripsholm.se
Gripsholm Castle / Gripsholms slott
Adrress: 647 91 Mariefred
Tel.: +46 (0)159 10194
Mariefred Trade Association / Företagarföreningen i Mariefred
Address: Box 141, 647 23 Mariefred
VisitSörmland Sörmland’s destination website
Image: Riddardagarna i Mariefred
Text sources: Riddardagarna i Mariefred, Strängnäs kommun, Gripsholms slot, VisitSörmland
Mariefred and Gripsholm Castle on Google Maps:
Video reportages and promos of the event:
Exploring Mariefred and Gripsholm Castle: