© Oleg Pavlukhin
© Oleg Pavlukhin

Festival "Abalak Field": the storm of swords over the Irtysh

4 minutes to read

There are such books, having read which, you regret that they are over. And after some time, you return to them and relive all the events and discover something new for yourself. I reread George Martin's “Song of Ice and Fire” for the third time, again plunging into the world of knights, armor, and swords, which all have their own names and meanings. That is why I can not help but write about the amazing event that takes place annually near Tobolsk - the festival "Abalak Field", a storm of swords over the Irtysh.

One of the highlights of the Urals 

Festival of historical reconstruction "Abalak Field" is held in the tourist complex "Abalak", the very atmosphere of which contributes to plunge into the world of fairy tales and miracles. The festival holds the status of one of the highlights of the Urals Federal District. Over the past nine years, more than 120.000 tourists have visited the event. Traditionally, reenactors from Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Tomsk,  Tyumen, as well as guests from Belarus, Ukraine, and Germany gather at the “Abalak Field”.

A city of the early Middle Ages

© Oleg Pavlukhin
© Oleg Pavlukhin

For two days, the tourist complex turns into a city of the early Middle Ages. Here live medieval residents who are engaged in their medieval affairs, but everyone can join in. For example, you can learn pottery or craft weapons, get acquainted with the art of carving in bone or wood and feel like a real weaver or a carpenter. 

© Oleg Pavlukhin
© Oleg Pavlukhin

You can even take part in a wedding ceremony or coin minting. Musicians play ancient music on the instruments of that time, which helps to plunge into the atmosphere of the early Middle Ages. Here, you can taste the food prepared according to old recipes and visit the fair, purchase unusual gifts and stylized medieval decorations.

Clatter of swords

© Oleg Pavlukhin
© Oleg Pavlukhin

The main events are developing in the stadium. Pair and collective clashes fighting, in which more than 50 reenactors armed with historical weapons are simultaneously participating, are some of the most popular events of this festival. The main type of historical fencing at the festival is the “shield-sword” nomination; it is in this category that almost all the original medieval fencing techniques are laid down. It should be noted that the armor is created using scientific data, observing historical technologies, and using materials similar to the materials of the reconstructed era. 

© Oleg Pavlukhin
© Oleg Pavlukhin

Spectators can also try their hand at the battle. Among the guests of the festival, there is a detachment formed which, by all the rules of historical fencing, will fight with a squad of reenactors. True, the battle itself will take place with soft swords and shields, but it doesn't diminish its spectacularity.  

© Oleg Pavlukhin
© Oleg Pavlukhin

A lot of entertainment

In addition, tourists can take photos in old costumes, take part in archery and in the night honey feast and dance to ancient music. The best folk ensembles always play in the concert program at the festival. Traditionally, a series of games of reenactors with tourists on Scandball is held - a medieval analogue of the game of rugby

© Oleg Pavlukhin
© Oleg Pavlukhin

There is a lot of entertainment on the “Abalak Field”, but be sure to take the time to enjoy the surroundings. This can be done while sailing on a boat on the Irtysh River or by taking a balloon to the sky. The landscape is worth it.

© Oleg Pavlukhin
© Oleg Pavlukhin

Where to stay

You can stayal and enjoy nature to the fullest.

© Oleg Pavlukhin
© Oleg Pavlukhin

On the territory of the complex "Abalak," there are guest houses and the hotel "Voivodship Chambers". However, they are few and must be booked in advance. Abalak is located 30 kilometers from Tobolsk so that you can stay in one of the many Tobolsk hotels. Gostiny Dvor Hotel is a stone's throw from the famous Tobolsk Kremlin, the beauty and spiritual strength of Siberia. Hotel "Slavyanskaya" is a modern hotel by European standards. There are many mini-hotels and hostels - so rest assured that you won’t be left without a roof over your head. A bus from Tobolsk to Abalak leaves from the bus station at least once an hour. Travel time is about 30 minutes. You can also take a taxi.

© Oleg Pavlukhin
© Oleg Pavlukhin

Those who at least once visited the Festival "Abalak Field", the storm of swords over the Irtysh, are looking forward to the next festival in order to plunge into its unique atmosphere again. This event will remain in your memory for a long time.  

Festival of historical reconstruction "Abalak Field", Irtysh
Festival of historical reconstruction "Abalak Field", Irtysh

The author

Natalya Lisovskaya

Natalya Lisovskaya

Hi, I'm Natalya, a journalist from the ancient Siberian city of Tyumen, in the Ural Federal District. I love my Siberian land, its rich history and the harsh and majestic beauty of its nature. I hope you will fall in love with it too, after reading my stories.

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