In a mediaeval castle, a mediaeval mystery based on real events unfolds.

The Story      

The mediaeval life of Vastseliina Episcopal Castle is brought to life through theatre and participatory activities. A theatre production based on Erkki Koort's novel "The Eavesdropper in Vastseliina" will be presented in an authentic setting. In addition, workshops and tasty experiences, true to the era, await the audience.

The Experience

In the summer of 2024, an open-air production based on Erkki Koort's book "The Eavesdropper in Vastseliina" will premiere in Vastseliina Episcopal Castle. A total of 8 performances will take place in July and August.

The protagonist of the novel is a young soldier, Markus, who arrives in the fortress of Vastseliina at the end of the 14th century to find out who betrayed the battle unit that defended the Livonian border. Only decades earlier, a miracle had taken place in the castle, leading the Pope to grant indulgence to all who visit the chapel.

The production features both professional and amateur actors, including from Võru county and South Estonia. The Latvian band Trakula, is responsible for creating an authentic mediaeval sound experience. Several languages can be heard in the performance, including Estonian, Russian, Võro, Latvian and German.

The production offers visitors both exciting emotions and knowledge. Indeed, in 1354, the Pope issued a letter granting all pilgrims who visited the Episcopal Castle of Vastseliina 1 year and 40 days of absolution. It's fair to say that all spectators will be leaving Vastseliina with a clear conscience.

The open-air production will bring theatre enthusiasts to a beautiful corner of south-eastern Estonia, where, before the performance starts, one can visit the castle's experience centre, take part in a tour of the sanctuary, the pilgrimage and the legends of the castle, or walk a small pilgrimage route. In addition, it's possible to buy handicrafts, take part in mediaeval-inspired workshops and taste authentic food. Younger visitors can discover an adventurous "knight's trail".

The Impact

The creation of the production will revitalise local theatre and provide a valuable experience for organisers of cultural events and other parties involved in Võrumaa. It will also help to promote local history and legends.  

Advocates: Vastseliina Piiskopilinnuse Foundation, NGO Müüdud Naer, Erkki Koort.


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