RECREATING the atmosphere of a medieval castle is the main aim of the third International Medieval Festival on the grounds of Lietava Castle near Žilina. The festival starts on Friday, June 20, with the festival's participants parading through the streets of Žilina. The festival then continues the next day in the nearby villages of Lietava and Lietavská Svinná.
The programme includes a dramatisation of the story of the mythical Lady Lithewa performed by actors and fencers in medieval costumes. The visitors will have the chance to witness recreations of public court proceedings, a hanging, and a raid on a village, plus the lighting of midsummer bonfires and many other attractions. Additionally, there will be tents set up with handmade products for sale. The highlight on Saturday will be a tournament of the knightly arts ending in a feast. In the evening the Czech band Gothart and the Bratislava-based Pressburger Klezmer Band will provide music for the festivalgoers to dance to.
All the festival's activities were prepared during workshops held at the castle during the preceeding week. The 200 or so participants, performing the roles of craftsmen, merchants, stiltwalkers, fire-eaters, fortunetellers, and wizards, come from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary.
Lietava Castle is accessible by foot from the village of Lietavská Lúčka, 12 kilometres from Žilina. The organisers will provide a camping area with facilities for visitors. Tickets for the main event on Saturday cost Sk100 for adults and Sk50 for children. The activities on Friday and Sunday are free of charge. For more information visit www.lithewa.sk.