25.08.2024

The Pageant of the Golden Tree in four chapters 

The Pageant of the Golden Tree is a medieval procession and recounts the history of Bruges and the county of Flanders. The main focus are the celebrations surrounding the marriage of Margaret of York and Charles the Bold.

Starting this year, the Pageant will have a more modern flair. We’ll unveil the story in four major chapters. But here’s a peek for now.

Chapter 1: Welcome Margaret

After Margaret and Charles pronounce their vows in Damme, the people of Bruges prepare for the arrival of their new countess. It promises to be a joyous day, full of festivities to celebrate the marriage. Just a little longer and Margaret, in her golden litter, will appear through the Kruispoort and make her way towards the Prinsenhof… High time for residents to make the final preparations.

 

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Chapter 2: The historical county of Flanders

A visit to our city in 2024 is a voyage of discovery, and it was no different for Margaret back in 1468. The English princess still knows nothing about the rich history of Flanders and Belgium. In the second chapter, we accompany Margaret on her encounter with the woudmeesterlegendes (the Counts of Flanders, who were referred to as foresters due to their concern for hunting and preserving their hunting grounds), the crusades, the Vikings, and city charters. Tension, intrigue, and even the occasional bloody murder characterise this historical phase.

 

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Chapter 3: The wedding celebrations

Enough about the past, let’s party! The crème de la crème of society eagerly waits the start of the wedding banquet at the Prinsenhof. The Burgundians are known for their extravagance, and this wedding will go down in history as one of the most impressive ever. The smell of delicious pasties and roasts fills the streets. Exotic animals – like a unicorn, a leopard, or a whale – are everywhere you look. There are even mermaids and mermen! Could it be more exciting? Then there are the knightly tournaments, culminating in the Passage of Arms of the Golden Tree.

 

Chapter 4: here and now

Did you enjoy the celebrations? Well, there’s more where that came from! Contemporary artist Elise Eeraerts will enrich Bruges by bringing the best of the Belfry back to the city. Using her architectural and artistic talents, she thus provides a spectacular finale to this 14th Pageant of the Golden Tree.