Arts, Food & Free Time

The medieval era of King Matthias comes to life at the Hungarian Cultural Days of Kolozsvár

King Matthias Corvinus, born on the 23th of February, 1443 in Kolozsvár is revered as an important historical figure by both Hungarians and Romanians. Son of János Hunyadi, he is remembered as one of the most brilliant rulers of Hungary. Though constantly defending against internal challenges mounted by the gentry, his reign saw Hungary grow to the largest territory in its history, and arts and culture and overall living standards prospered with not a little Italian influence. Important Hungarian cities like Esztergom, Visegrád and Buda owe a deep debt of gratitude to architects from the time of Matthias Corvinus.

The King Matthias Festival in Kolozsvár

The year 2018 has been declared by the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office as a commemorative year to honor the 575th anniversary of King Matthias’ birth and the 560th anniversary of his election as King of Hungary. Remembering our great king, whose influence and spirit can be felt at every step while walking the streets of his native city, Kolozsvár — also known as the Treasured City — the organizers of this year’s Hungarian Cultural Days featured a number of thematic programs related to Matthias Corvinus. Even the festival’s motto this year pointed to the legendary personality of the king: Vivat Mathias!

One of the most popular surprises for this year’s festival goers was a reenactment of day-to-day life in a settlement in the time of King Matthias. Performers from Hungary helped animate the reenactment and revive the medieval atmosphere.

In those days, the settlement would have been a military society, in which hunting, armor and heavy weapons or the era played a key role, but life did not lack style when it came to sumptuous banquets, elegant handmade costumes and dancing balls.

Children and adults of all ages populated the the medieval settlement on a daily basis participating at the lively fair and workshops. Festival goers learned about archery, medieval handicrafts, while kids learned to use medieval toys, swords and shields in individual and team battles and medieval musketeers taught them how handguns of the era worked.

Author: Blanka Székely