AK: Lääne County village marks 800th anniversary of first church mention

Medieval festival at Ridala, Lääne County.
Medieval festival at Ridala, Lääne County. Source: ERR

Tallinn is not the only town in Estonia to get the medieval days treatment – now, the village of Ridala, near Haapsalu, Lääne County had its own, similar celebration, marking the 800th anniversary of the first recorded mention of the settlement's church congregation, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Saturday.

The day exhibited medieval-era craftsmanship, music, food and drink and armory to the public at the event, hosted outside the village church.

Local teacher Küllike Valk told AK that: "Since there are people who play and make such medieval music, I thought that bringing bit of that medieval flair here outside the church and give people a chance to meet in a little bit of a different way, learn something, remember something and come away happy."

The intentions met their mark, AK reported, with festival goers reporting that they would like the event to become a permanent summer fixture.

Jaanus Vapper, member of the Lonkava Hundi Koda, a medieval reenactment society focusing on the period of Danish Estonia (13th-14th Century)* recounted his own passion to AK.

"Knights like these have been somewhere in the blood since childhood, but then becomes the case that a book is not enough and then a wooden sword is also not enough and, finally, when an iron sword is in the hand, then this is awesome," he said.

Costumes as well as chainmail and pot helms of the era were on display, while the public could taste various herbal elixirs and listen to the sounds of early music ensemble Rondellus, later tasting some spit roast pork.

Handicrafts including a medieval era lathe were also on display, while once it got too hot, patrons were able to repair to the nave of Ridala Church, to listen to Rondellus in concert.

Ridala was formerly a rural municipality of a little over 3,200 souls unto itself, merging with Haapsalu following administrative reforms in 2017.

Ridala Church (photo taken 2011). Source: Ren12/Wikimedia Commons

The current church, dedicated to Mary Magdalene (Ridala Püha Maarja Magdaleena kirik) is nearly as old as references to its congregation, and was built in the late 13th century.

*The Danish Duchy of Estonia covered roughly the northern third of present-day Estonia, though not the area surrounding Ridala. It lasted 1219-1346, after which the Teutonic Order began to rule the territory. It is not to be confused with the later territory of Danish Øsel (Saaremaa), which existed from the mid-sixteenth to mid-seventeenth century and at one point extended to the mainland, including the area surrounding Ridala and Haapsalu.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Andrew Whyte

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: