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Master Draught (Der Meistertrunk) 2024 in Bavaria

Hear the jaw-dropping legend of Rothenburg ob der Tauber and join the celebration!

Dates: May 17–20, 2024

Master Draught (Der Meistertrunk)

The historical spectacle of the Festspiel der Meistertrunk in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, which takes place annually during Pentecost, offers visitors a journey back in time to the dramatic events of 1631, all set against the backdrop of the beautifully preserved medieval town of Rothenburg in northern Bavaria.

Celebration and Experiences

The festival is a vibrant celebration of history and culture, featuring pageants, camp life reenactments, market activities, and other events. Visitors can immerse themselves in the Thirty Years' War era atmosphere as they explore the historic streets of Rothenburg, filled with colorful markets, lively music, and entertaining performances.

In addition to the historical reenactments, visitors can also visit the Museum of Rothenburg's city history and enjoy the sights and sounds of the historic traders' and craftsmen's market, where artisans from around the world gather to showcase their goods. From medieval culinary delicacies to captivating musical performances, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Program Highlights

The festival’s program is divided into four days. On Friday, starting at 1 pm, visitors can explore the Historical Dealers and Craftsmen's Market at the Green Market and Church Square, followed by a display of historical groups in the old town at 5 pm. The day culminates with the premiere of the historical play "The Master Draught" in the Kaisersaal/Town Hall at 7:30 pm.

Saturday continues the adventure with market activities beginning at 10:30 am, followed by festival group camps, entertaining games for all ages, and more performances of "The Master Draught" at 3 pm and 5:30 pm. The evening of live music and fire shows starts at 8 pm.

Sunday sees the city saved, with reenactments, market delights, and a grand historical army procession to the field camp at the Galgentor starting at 3 pm. Over 800 festival performers march through the streets of the old town led by a marching band, recreating the joyous celebration that followed the town's salvation from looting and arson.

The festivities conclude on Monday, with visitors and locals coming together for a community celebration in the field camp, bidding farewell to General Tilly on the market square at 7:30 pm.

Entrance Prices

Entrance to the events varies in price depending on the activity. For specific events like the Historical Dealer & Crafts Market and special experiences such as the "Fire Station in front of the Gate," prices range from €5 to €10. Alternatively, a Grand Festival Badge grants access to all events for €24 on Saturday or €12 on Sunday. Day tickets are available at the gates only for weekend events. Children under 14 enjoy free entry to most events, excluding performances in the Kaisersaal, which require separate tickets.

Historical Significance

At the heart of the festival is the stage play "The Master Draught" by local poet Adam Hörber. Since its premiere in 1881, this portrayal of the legendary events of 1631 has captivated audiences year after year. The play, which has been recognized as part of UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage since 2016, brings to life the heroic deeds of former mayor Georg Nusch, who famously took up the challenge of drinking a massive tankard of wine in one gulp to save the town from destruction by the forces of Count Tilly.

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