A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
From Copenhagen to Elsinore and from Roskilde to Ribe, I quest for a taste
of the Middle Ages. Traveling by train, often hitting two cities a day, I
savor Denmark's bold approach to recounting its history, seen in innovative
building projects, exhibits, and reconstructions. I come closest to
understanding medieval life in the town of Horsens, where a medieval
festival is underway. Crowds move cheek by jowl. Bagpipers play and the
crowd claps in time, feet stomp and ankle bells jangle. Peasants brush by
kings; knights and nuns hobnob with merchants, whose tents display dried
nosegays, home remedies, leather shoes, new-spun wool, knives, and armor.
Revelers line up for chicken legs, fresh brown bread, shrimp and snails,
dried fish, and wine. Ale flows freely into clay goblets. These were not the
Elizabeth J. Himelfarb is an assistant editor of ARCHAEOLOGY. She thanks the Danish Tourist Board and Middelalder '99.