The Soldier’s Camp

soldat1.jpgPart of Warwik’s camp is routinely laid out as a soldier’s camp. The context is the medieval mercenary – the very core element of Danish warfare in the 15th century. Mercenaries were hired in from nearby countries, e.g. Germany and Flanders. They campaigned in companies which apart from the soldiers themselves counted e.g. chefs and craftsmen, merchants, whores or even the soldier’s own families.

In the soldier’s camp, Warwik displays different kinds of weapons, shields and pieces of armour as “hands-on” opportunities for the audience. Which pieces are on display may vary. This corresponds to the fact that a 15th century mercenary company was always summoned with a particular conflict in mind. To solve it, certain weapons and armors were required and pre-dictated – all depending on the armaments which were anticipated with the enemy.

In the soldier’s camp, the Warwik knight “Ulf Lange” (of Kalø Castle) occasionally demonstrates the complicated and work intensive process of armament manintenance. Stainless steel did not exist. Most of the steel which was available did not possess the strength nor the toughness of modern alloys. Consequently, without proper care most of a soldier’s armaments would deteriorate, and their owner perish, when corrosion or wear made blades crack or leather straps break on the battle field.

Like the displays themselves, these talks are “hands on”. All implicated weapons or pieces of armour are passed around for all to see, feel and experience. Brave volunteers may also try their luck (and patience) with the tough processes of polishing or repairing using only medieval tools.