When Pagan Slavs Meet Christian Knights at ‘Zmajurjevo’ Festival in Zagreb, Croatia

Food, beverages and music in a medieval oasis behind the Zagreb Cathedral

drazen_bajer (CC0), Pixabay

ZmaJurjevo – is a full two-day cultural and educational event that revives early Croatian and medieval history and marks the beginning of the spring period of the year. Legend of the struggle of St. George and the Dragon is a story of eternal struggle and victory of light over the darkness.

Jurjevo is traditionally marked by the burning of the effigy, while ‘ZmaJurjevo’ festival in Zagreb goes one step further with a rich two-day entertainment and educational program plus catering offer that provides an authentic medieval atmosphere in the heart of Zagreb (just behind the Cathedral).

The organizers are the ‘The Order of the Guardians of the City of Zagreb, and the ‘Croatian Templar Knight Order’.

Event was sponsored by the Mayor of the City of Zagreb Mr. Milan Bandić and the City Office for Education, Culture and Sport.

Visitors had the opportunity to see medieval knights in their natural habitat, with a couple of forest pagan Slav bards sending melodic tunes and war drums across the park.

It was a rare sight where you could see pagan Slavs and Christian knights at peace, but they said it is for the sake of the festival there will be no war between them.

If you really wanted to, it was a genuine chance to learn medieval calligraphy, or just get one card dedicated for someone special with his name written on it.

While most of the peasantry was enjoying their day, a group of knights were spotted consuming larger amount of good ol’ beer and they were onto something.

Few hours later it was all clear, they were preparing for a grand knight tournament while beer helped them to build up their merciless mindset before it.

Lo and behold brothers, a massive knight brawl started.

In all the brawling there were a few knights that lost their battles and got heavily wounded, limb or two missing.

…but their damaged limbs were easily removed by the local medieval surgeons with their trusty saws and other joyful tools.

and with just a little bit of help from natural ..ehm…drugs…but they call them…herbs

While you were listening to the screams of wounded knights getting their limbs sawn-off in a med-tent nearby, it was an awesome chance to get into medieval archery:

What made the archery experience even better was the fact that cheerful ‘Princess Merida of DunBroch’ was there as well.

She was patiently explaining to the tourist peasantry how to use the bows and hit the target center.

By now we bet you are tired just from reading all this, so it is probably a good time to grab a fast snack like that famous medieval hot-dog?

…and comfortably sit to munch on your food with a group of pagan Slavs representing Rusakle spirits and even a rarely seen succubus.

…some of the maidens were caught off-guard while they were replenishing their energy, but nevertheless they responded with a nice smile.

Even Yarilo himself was there with all the nature blooming around him.

So… after a good meal it was time to check out some of the awesome hand-made souvenirs that were both cheap and awesome

Play a traditional ‘pull the rope’ game (kids won btw).

Wanted a medieval portrait? no problem!

Or just comfortably set yourself between the Rusalke spirits and listen to some pagan Slavic songs about Yarilo.

Their tunes mesmerized most of the tourist peasantry that gathered around and you know what? They liked it!

So, what was your excuse not to be there? Next year visit ZmaJurjevo

What do you think?

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