If you’re a member of the Carriage Association of America, you may have already seen this news (and the photo) in last week’s issue of The Spokesperson, our e-newlsetter. If you’re not a CAA member but want to learn more, take a look at the CAA website. If you are a member but aren’t getting the weekly newletter, let me know!

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The new bridal carriage for the “Landshut Wedding 1475” festival (in southern Germany) was built in Vienna under the auspices of CAA life member Rudolf H. Wackernagel, a leading expert in the area of medieval coach-building. Thanks to a meticulous analysis of historical sources, it was possible to accurately reproduce medieval construction techniques.

The carriage, which is a unique specimen and the only one of its kind worldwide, was presented to the festival’s organizers at an international press conference on July 7.

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Although paintings in the ceremonial room of the Landshut town hall depict many details of the 1475 wedding (which the festival recreates each year), they do not show the undercarriage of the golden vehicle that Princess Hedwig of Poland used for her long journey to Landshut to wed Duke George the Rich of the Lower Bavarian branch of the Wittelsbach dynasty. Owing to this lack of information, the undercarriage of the festival carriage built in 1903 and used up until now was too small, and its fifth wheel was a modern one. In 2010, the festival’s organizers, in their ongoing effort to improve the festival’s historical details, ordered a “new” bridal carriage.

During next year’s fortieth reenactment of the “Landshut Wedding 1475” (June 28-July 21, 2013), eight dappled horses – the preferred breed of princes – will draw the magnificent carriage, which boasts rear wheels almost the size of a man and two pairs of carved lions bearing the coat of arms of Poland on either side of the axle rods.