2011 : 20th year
History of the Fair
The Franchimont Mediaeval Fair was first held in 1973 at the initiative of a few enthusiasts and thanks to the devotion of local companies and the RSI (tourist office).
Since the start, it has definitely grown somewhat but always with the intention of improving its authenticity and historical research.
For laymen or non-Theux residents, a little bit of explanation about this famous event which, in 2007, was attended by more than 20,000 people in just a weekend.
It is a reconstruction of a Middle Ages market, under the aegis of the Prince Bishop Erard de la Marck who, in 1515-1520 authorised the establishment of a free fair in the Franchimont region.
More than 2000 people take part in running various activities in the different parts of the castle, the inns, restaurants and various podiums where many troubadours, players and other entertainers perform for the great pleasure of the public.
Several dozen craftsmen in areas as varied as enamels, weapons, leather, candles, ironworking, spinning, embroidery and lace-making, not to mention various food trades, offer their expertise.
Visitors come face to face with various street scenes, whether it's the tooth-puller, the leper, beggars, travelling nobles, the arrest of the baker who has cheated on the weight of his bread, or
highwaymen taken in the act by the archers.
It hardly needs saying that the key word of this event is authenticity guaranteed by painstaking historical research and anachronisms are avoided as much as possible.
We are proud to say that the Franchimont mediaeval fair, because of its authenticity and prestigious setting, is certainly one of the finest in Belgium.