Peter-und-Paul-Fest is Bretten's biggest event of the year. Every year on one long weekend Bretten turns back time for more than 500 years, back to those days when the town was still named „Brettheim“, back to the glorious and victorious battle of 1504. The festival takes place on the weekend after St Peter and Paul’s Day (June 29) from Friday to Monday. The events of 1504 are re-enacted, with a big parade on Sunday afternoon as the climax.
This is not one of those many „medieval“ shows done by a travelling company of professional actors with no relation to the place. It is a festival of the town, and the whole town takes part in it. The majority of participants are local groups and clubs, people of the town. Only a minority are professionals. Since this event takes place every year, owning an outfit that matches the era around 1500 makes sense. On the market during the festival you can buy all kinds of clothing and accessories which are needed.
The festival covers most of the old town. There is a lot to see. The camp of the lansquenets. Several stages where musicians and jugglers perform. The market stalls in the streets. Demonstrations of various crafts. And overall, the people in their beautiful costumes walking around everywhere. You can participate in medieval dances, enjoy a wide variety of food and drink, kids can play knights and do fighting with wooden swords. Even if you miss the main events, just walking and watching is absolutely worthwhile. I highly recommend this festival.
On Saturday afternoon there is the re-enactment of the battle around Simmelturm. They say that this show is not suitable for small children (probably because of the boom-bang noise of the guns and cannons and also because of violent scenes). Everything else, however, is great for families.
An entrance fee is charged for access to the festival area, this buys a ribbon to wear round your wrist which is valid for all the weekend.