Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Historical Documentary Play “Landshut Wedding of 1475“
The re-enactment of the "Landshut Wedding of 1475" takes place every four years within a three-week period and is made of 96 individual events. The festival which was revived in 1903 combines local history with civil society activities. The organization of the play relies on volunteers: 2,500 citizens of Landshut of all generations are involved. Costumes and armour are made by hand and a variety of music and dance groups are participating. The festival is staged in a way that connects people from different nationalities, as there is collaborations with Polish groups as well. Countless local and regional institutions, associations and citizens' initiatives work together in the course of the production and preparation period. This tradition is highly significant for the city’s identity and history and attracts around half a million people from all over the world.
The content of the historical documentary play is the wedding of the Duke of Wittelsbach, Duke George the Rich of Bavaria-Landshut with the Polish princess Hedwig - probably one of the most magnificent festivities of the late Middle Ages. The origin of the production stems from the desire to recreate the magnificent event so as so be experienced again by today's generations.
All people living in the Landshut area are able to participate. Prerequisite is a traditional hair and beard style.
Since 1903, the association "Die Förderer" has organized the Landshut Wedding of 1475. The knowledge gained in the course of the association's work is passed on to the following generations and is not only preserved but also constantly adjusted. That way, new activities have been developed over the years, for example regarding music and dance of the 15th century, armourer craftsmanship, tournament rituals, sword fighting and fencing training, carriage building and heraldry. The Landshut Wedding is based on both detailed chronicles and oral transmission, for example, during regular in-house "Gevatterabenden" (“Godfather evenings”) or within the 70 groups. It forms the basis for educational and learning processes and for a lively development and anchoring of knowledge.
In addition to the non-profit association "Die Förderer", schools, music schools, numerous associations of various thematic orientation, kindergartens, parishes, art galleries, the Landshut University of Applied Sciences, different companies from Landshut, museums as well as the media are involved in one way or the other in the play and its preparation. The city of Landshut with the responsible offices and services is an important partner as well.