freydal - running against Count Sigmund © Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
Freydal: Running against Count Sigmund © Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. Neue Burg Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer Inv.-Nr. KK_5073 - It is possible to adopt this piece of art in order to secure its restoration

Emperor Maximilian I – the Last Knight and the Chivalrous Tournament

The story of Maximilian I as the “last knight” is told in Mannheim this summer

armour gloves maximilian 1
Gloves of Maximilian I

The German emperor Maximilian (1459 -1519) was one of the more magnificent late medieval rulers. He played an important role in late medieval politics and was responsible for the rise of the house of Hapsburg as a significant European power. But he was also a passionate hunter as well as a magnificent exponent for the late medieval tournament. Later times dubbed him “the last knight”.

This summer it is possible to see a rich collection of artefacts lent from “The Kunsthistorisches Museum” in Vienna to the Reiss-Engelhorn Museen in Mannheim in Germany telling this story. Through weapons, armour as well as magnificent portraits, the visitor is able to explore the fascinating world of the late medieval tournament and the fascination Maximilian felt for it.

Especially prominent is the exhibition of illuminations from Freydal, one of three autobiographical illuminated books, which Maximilian had produced. Freydal was produced in 1512 -15 and consists of 64 aquarelles showing fights, which Maximilian took part in. The other books are Theuerdank  and Weisskönig.

The exhibition is presented on the website of the museum through three small videos; unfortunately accompanied by German speak, which is not translated

This exhibition is partnered with another exhibition in Schaffhausen, which tells the story of the late-medieval tournament as staged by the cities in Sourthern Germany and Austria.

Kaiser Maximilian I. Der letzte Ritter und das höfische Turnier
Reiss-Engelhorn Museen
68159 Mannheim
Museum Zeughaus
13.04.2014 – 09.11.2014


Kaiser Maximilian I. – Der letzte Ritter und das höfische Turnier

Kaiser Maximilian I. – Entwicklungen im mittelalterlichen Turnierwesen

Kaiser Maximilian I. – Das prachtvolle Turnierbuch “Freydal”


Cover Maximilian I -letzte Ritter und höfische TurnierKaiser Maximilian I. – Der letzte Ritter und das höfische Turnier
By Sabine Haag, Alfried Wieczorek, Matthias Pfaffenbichler, Hans-Jürgen Buderer (eds.)
Verlag Schnell und Steiner 2014