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Anastigmat | profile | all galleries >> Pageants and Processions >> Praalstoet van de Gouden Boom (Pageant of the Golden Tree) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Praalstoet van de Gouden Boom (Pageant of the Golden Tree)

The wedding of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy and Count of Flanders, with the English princess Margaret of York, celebrated in Bruges in 1468, was the occasion for the greatest festivities the Venice of the North had ever known. The celebrations were called after the trophy, a symbolic jewel which was the prize of the tournament organised at the Market Square. The royal couple is welcomed and celebrated with a pageant representing the history and origin of the houses of Flanders and Burgundy.
In the first part, the Middle Ages are revived by means of tableaux represented by actors, singers and dancers.
The second part begins with the ceremonial entry of the newly married duke and duchess into the city, where they are welcomed by the Magistrate of Bruges and the representatives of the foreign nations and the guilds. This magnificent procession is interspersed with a number of allegorical scenes, which allude to traditional stories of love and to the noble lineage of the bridal pair.
The concept for this procession dates back to 1958. The portrayals are not intended to reflect historical reality, but are based on later accounts of the events, as found in the chronicles of the 15th century.

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