Once a year the Old City of Jerusalem reverts to the Middle Ages and visitors can wander the narrow cobbled lanes and encounter scenes with knights doing gallant and valiant acts! The theme of this year’s Knights of the Night Festival is “Knights and Dragons” and entrance to the fun family event is free!
As you stroll through the streets of the Old City you may see musicians performing medieval music; dancers in medieval costume; magicians who look remarkably like Merlin and Jesters offering comic relief. Knights and dragons also feature prominently, with re-enacted jousting, sword fights and duels. Town criers ring their bells to beckon pedestrians to the various stages set up for performers and above the streets flags fly. In previous years there have even been performances by costumed “knights” battling as they hang from wires and fly through the air with the ancient city walls as their background.
You may see medieval blacksmiths or the local executioner with his big axe waiting in the shadows! In previous years performers from other countries have joined Israelis in the many street shows and in 2013 artists from the Venice Festival will be participating in the event. Peddlers in medieval costume and fire eaters perform as the medieval music permeates the air. You may even see a performance from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet performed from a real balcony or a knight in shining armor rescuing a princess. Get your fortune told by a soothsayer and cheer for the troubadours!
For the 2013 Knights Festival some of the stations planned include a knight’s banquet at the Jaffa Gate; a victory parade; a battle between knights and dragons where the audience will be invited to join in; a treasure hunt with audience participation and a half-man-half-dragon chasing after a maiden in distress along St. Peter Street. Adults can purchase a wooden goblet and enter the Knights Bar to quench their thirst.
To experience this slice of living history enter the Old City of Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate and follow the circular route to the Muristan Square and back again to the Jaffa Gate. The fun and games will occur from 6pm to 11pm in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City and will be held on the 31st October and 7th, 14th and 21st of November 2013 (consecutive Thursdays). Entrance is free and the event is suitable for the whole family.