Battle of the Knights – Reliving a Vibrant History

Armoured combat, archery and knighthood training…step back in time with the Loughrea Medieval Festival this weekend (24 to 26 August).


Now in its fifth year, the Loughrea Medieval Festival is a chance to escape the norm, and experience the sounds, smells and sights of life hundreds of years ago. Think jesters, knights and fairy stilt walkers in an inter-generational, family focused, fun and interactive weekend.

Supported by Galway 2020’s Small Towns Big Ideas, the medieval festival will kick off with a unique opening evening ‘Exploring Our European Connections’ at 7pm this Friday in the Lough Rea Hotel and Spa Rooftop Garden. Overlooking the medieval town of Loughrea, the evening will celebrate the connections between Ireland, Spain and Hungary through our rich gastronomical traditions, exploring Galway 2020 themes language, landscape and migration. Talks lead the evening’s festivities, followed by great food, Spanish and Hungarian wine and musical entertainment from all three countries, with guests encouraged to dress in medieval attire.

Also on Friday in the Fairgreen (festival tent), the Galway 2020-supported, ‘Drawn Together: Loughrea Zibaldone Project’ will involve sketchers from Hungary, Spain and Ireland drawing together around the medieval town of Loughrea. Over the festival weekend, the artists will create images that will be brought together into a one of a kind handmade Zibaldone book (originally a notebook kept by Italian merchants in the 14th Century). View a display of this original artwork and engage with the artists at the Fairgreen on Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.

Throughout the festival, which attracts thousands to the town each year, events will take place at various locations, and will entertain every age and every taste from food demos, talks, re-enactments, craft and food demos, children’s activities, music and guided tours.

Enjoy enchanted fairy walks, leaf tile workshops, archery games and food demonstrations and tastings. Try out painting with food, take part in a moat fun run in the only functioning medieval town moat in Ireland and see how blacksmiths worked hundreds of years ago. See knights in armoured combat in the ‘Clash of Nights’, or take part in straw craft, spinning, weaving and natural dyeing.

Another Galway 2020 supported event, ‘Potato, King of the Vegetables’ will take place in the Temperance Hall (Kitchen) from 2pm to 4.30pm on Saturday. Join Noel Loughnane, Culinary Arts Lecturer GMIT and team, as they prepare and cook potato dishes from Ireland, Spain and Hungary. Learn about different potato varieties and find out what makes the potato the ‘King of the Vegetables’. This event is open to all and will give people an opportunity to see and sample recipes using ingredients available during the medieval period.

Celebrating over 780 years since the foundation of the medieval town, ‘Loughrea Medieval Festival: A Taste of the Past’ will delight and educate with free events for all the family throughout the weekend.

For more details see To learn more about Galway 2020’s Small Towns Big Ideas projects, see here.

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