Scharnhorst Festival

Every year on the first weekend in May, Lützen celebrates the Scharnhorst Festival. Hundreds of performers in historical costumes re-enact the "Battle of Großgörschen".

History replayed

Napoleon had just returned from his devastating defeat in Russia when he headed east again. An alliance of Prussians and Russians opposed him. The Wars of Liberation broke out.

Almost 181 years after the "Battle of Lützen" during the Thirty Years' War, another major battle ocurred on Lützen soil. Napoleon faced Gerhard von Scharnhorst at Großgörschen. The battle, known in France as the "Bataille de Lützen", ended with a narrow victory for the French, but was the beginning of Napoleon's defeat in the Wars of Liberation. For more than 40 years now, the memory of this battle has attracted thousands of guests to the famous Lützen "Scharnhornfest" year after year.

Gunpowder smoke and festive mood

The highlight of the Scharnhorst Festival is the re-enactment of the battle of 2 May 1813 in accurate costumes on the historical sites. Organisations from near and far perform scenes from the battle, bringing history alive for young and old.

The festival is organised by the Großgörschen Scharnhorst Committee. In addition to the bivouac of the groups of performers, visitors will find on the meadow a large marquee, musical performances, historical market stands and culinary delights. Year after year, the traditional Scharnhorst Run calls participants from several countries. In this way, a commemoration of the gruesome battle becomes a celebration of peaceful coexistence.

A look into the festival