It is a reference to a historical battle that took place near Gniew in 1626. The castle outskirts saw two armies, king Sigismund III’s of Poland and Gustavus Adolphus’s of Sweden, clash in a fierce battle. Every third week of September the castle walls come to life when rival armies once again stand opposite each other. Reenactment groups from Poland, as well as the Czech Republic, Moravia and other countries, take part in this event. The arena holds military parades, shooting and weapon workshops. The programme also includes Hussar banner (Chorągiew husarska) exercises, military drills of foreign military units, duels of nobility members, military camp activities, dancing and signing. Anyone can try to handle a musket, practice shooting with a crossbow, print out a safe conduct document on Gutenberg’s printing press, try on historical clothes and armour.
The event is opened with a gun salute to Angelus, which is followed by a parade of regiments and banners, army drills, tournaments and scenes from military camp life. Evening is the time of historical reenactment of the battle of Gniew (c.a. 2h), which includes an open military parade through the streets of Gniew. Watch the Swedish army being thwarted by a surprise charge by the hussars. Listen for the distant thunder of cannons and musket salvoes being fired. The apogee of the event is a Mass in the Castle Chapel, during which you can listen to the magnificent Schola Cantorum Gymnevensis choir.
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