Activities on Medieval Week

Many types of crafts we modern people engage in are based on ancient crafts. In addition, many of the ancient craft types are also very durable, although perhaps more time-consuming. But that’s also a bit of their charm, isn’t it?

So why not sometimes go back to the origins and look at how different crafts were viewed in the Middle Ages? That’s what The Green Phoenix does during Medieval Week on Gotland!

This year there will be two different activities during Medieval Week (Medeltidsveckan), as always at Kapitelhusgården. Hope to see you there!

Tribute to the Nettle

Talk – Sunday 4 August 12:30-14:00

A plant that most people detest nowadays, but which was cultivated by many in the Middle Ages: the stinging nettle. A versatile plant that can be used both for a variety of dishes, as a medicinal plant and has many more different ways of use in everyday life.

You will hear why the stinging nettle should be everyone’s favorite plant and why it was so popular in the Middle Ages. There will be practical examples that make this talk more than just a lecture: it will be a well-deserved Historical Tribute to Stinging Nettles!


Miniature of a viperina, or purple deadnettle plant; miniature of a urtica, or stinging nettle plant. Image taken from f. 104 of Tractatus de herbis (Herbal); De Simplici Medicina (index Secreta Salernitana); Circa instans; Antidotarium Nicolai. Written in Latin.
Medieval depiction of the stinging nettle in the Tractatus de herbis (Herbal); De Simplici Medicina (index Secreta Salernitana); Circa instance; Antidotarium Nicolai.

Historical Plant Dyes

Workshop – Tuesday 6 and Thursday 8 August 12:00-15:00

Even the poorest people in the Middle Ages had access to a number of different colouring plants out in nature! And at court you could see all the colors of the rainbow. The Middle Ages were simply a lot more flashy and colorful than you might think.

Learn the basics of plant dyeing on different types of textiles. How you can experiment and get different results depending on the circumstances. For those of you who have never dyed with plants before, or if you never manage to achieve the colour you really wanted. You get a broad base with Sweden’s history as a starting point to continue at home.

Materials are included in the price and you will receive various recipes and the beginning of a color sample collection. It is possible to buy more material on site.


And if you don’t make it to Medieval Week and live in Västerbotten, be sure to check out Plant Dyes and Promenades instead!