Unbelievable. Medieval traditions in the present-day fun fairs

There are three major temporary fun fairs in Paris held annually in the capital of France at different times of the year. Today fairs are amusement parks for children and adults but would you believe their origin goes back to the Medieval ages when fairs were of an exclusively commercial nature? 7 fascinating facts trace the story of how fairs turned into a popular family and tourist attraction.

FÊTE FORAINE DES TUILERIES Image credit: @marc_nouss
  1. First fun fairs appeared in Middle Ages and sale was their original objective. Fun fairs never stayed in one place and constantly moved so that local residents from all over the country could purchase the given products.
  2. Apart from the merchants, only two more professions could place their stalls at the fun fairs: money changers (modern bankers) and stray acrobats.
  3. Little by little, theater groups, jugglers, musicians, travelers, explorers, scientists and even doctors began to join this business company.
  4. By the 19th century, fairs became rather an exhibition of achievements and discoveries than a place for trade. Nomadic zoos and physicians who sold their ointments and elixirs and offered on-the-spot treatment became an integral part of every fun fair.
  5. Dioramas and panoramas appeared due to the growing interest in travel. Thus, one could observe the lifestyle of residents of remote areas and “wild” tribes.
  6. Marketing methods of the Middle Ages fun fairs: in order to attract more people from whereabouts to visit the venue our predecessors resorted to…irresistible smells and music! Their loud music could be heard within a 3 km radius.
  7. Omnipresent fair sweets like Dutch donuts, Belgian waffles, and gingerbread were all invented in the Middle Ages. It is incredible that they are still ranked among our favorite confectioneries.

Parisian Fun Fairs:

  • TRÔNE. Location: Reuilly. Dates: 31st March – 28th May 2017
  • FÊTE FORAINE DES TUILERIES. Location: the Tuileries Garden. Dates: 07th July- 24th August 2017
  • FÊTE À NEUNEU. Location: the Bois de Boulogne. Dates: 1st September8th Octobre 2017


Paris as a source of inspiration. Find your insight in Paris.

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