We were invited to a very special birthday. We took part in the festivities for the 25 anniversary of the Company of Saint George at the Castle of Vallerois-le-Bois. For once it was planned to celebrate with family and kids but without the public with their modern clothes and modern devices of all kinds. This gave a true medieval atmosphere. On really could feel being propelled 600 years into the past , particularly within such authentic surroundings of the medieval castle.
Lectures, presentations and demonstrations offered some initiations in the diverse arts of yester year. Many ideas, hints and discovieries could be shared. We could immerse ourselves in a medieval experience and make many exchanges. Our own presentation was in two parts. First we discussed our working methods with medieval leather and shared some results of our research. The second part dealt with the biomechanics of wearing medieval shoes. Thin soled shoes on unpaved roads – strewn with pebbles and gravel – require a different way of walking, implementing a toe strike istead of the heel strike. We could show several examples from iconographical and archaeological sources to validate our findings.
The highlight of the one week long burgundian artillery camp from 1475 was the final festive banquet in the castle rooms. As guests of honour we had a privileged spot at the High Table. It was an unforgettable evening in the festive grand hall full of gracious ladies, knights and gentlemen all in authentic garb, with lights from candles and oil lamps and medieval music floating past our ears. Returning to the 21st century after such an event was somewhat brutal, as one can imagine.