medieval Croatians
Belles on Location

History Comes to Life in Queensland

It’s one thing to read about history, quite another to see it lived out before your eyes. History comes to life every year at Fort Lytton, Queensland with History Alive: A Journey Through Time.

A fantastic living history event, History Alive allows the public to visit encampments depicting life from the Roman Legions up through the Vietnam Era. With enactors dressed in traditional garb, demonstrations of ancient foods, crafts, clothing, and battles, the event is a kaleidoscope of color and activity.

Strolling through the venue you might pass an elderly couple in traditional Croatian attire, a Russian warrior from medieval times, or a Napoleonic horseman galloping along.

medieval Croatians

The children are adorable in their authentic garb portraying Viking toddlers or bonnet-topped girls from the Jane Austen era.

medieval Viking boy

History Alive boasts several arenas that host numerous demonstrations throughout the weekend. While some are purely for observation, others welcome the public for an interactive experience.

You can join in a traditional Maypole dance, fight alongside Joan of Arc, swing a wooden sword against marauding Vikings, or learn dancing and music from numerous eras.

dancing around a maypole

Rousing battles are fought regularly in the main arena, and it’s a great time to pick a side and cheer wildly. You might see a Varangian Guard cross swords with a Mad Turkish Warrior or watch Prince Rupert’s Blue Coats demonstrate a Pike Drill.

medieval combat

Each encampment showcases the living arrangements, food, clothing, games, armor, and furniture of the era it depicts. Displays are set up and manned by knowledgeable re-enactors who are able to teach everything from Nordic cord-weaving and Berber bone-carving to medieval medicine and skills such as rope-twisting, leather work, cheese-making, and wood-turning.

medieval medicine

All the camps are open for observation and participants are willing to answer questions and give close-ups of their unique accoutrements.

World War I camp

Stall holders offer an enticing array products for sale: jewelry, handmade leather, wood, and iron creations, weaponry, clothing, pottery, and authentic games and recipes from thousands of years ago.

Viking leather work

It’s a place where learning is fun for all ages and a connection to the past is made possible.

For more information, History Alive: A Journey Through Time 

I am a wood-burning artist, goat farmer, writer and photographer of all things food, travel, and lifestyle. Born in Canada, raised in the USA, and shaped by my European roots, I now live on a goat farm in Queensland, Australia with my husband, where I celebrate anything that leads to healing, thriving, and loving. For more visit: Rambling Tart

This article has 5 comments

  1. judith works

    What fun!!!!!!

  2. Margo Millure

    Krista, this does look like so much fun! Viking toddlers! It brings up so many questions now about Australian history. It’s so intriguing to me that there is such fascination with general Euro centric history. Here in the US it would be much more likely to have individual festivals or ‘museums’ for each different heritage. Living history activities are such a great way to get young people interested in the past. Brings a little “Disney” to history.

  3. Krista Bjorn

    It was SO fun, Judith! 🙂 Definitely something we attend every year. 🙂

  4. Krista Bjorn

    I’ve been fascinated by that too, Margo. I wonder if it’s because Europe is where so many of us come from? Maybe seeing these things connects us to our roots in some way? I was delighted to hear a bloke from Alabama speaking in the arena next to me, talking about the Civil War. His accent was music to my ears. 🙂

  5. Katy Stewart

    How much fun! Quite a wander through different periods of history – and so much colour and joy!

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