The Wild West in the far north of Germany
A festival that takes you back to your childhood: the Karl May festival in Bad Segeberg, Schleswig-Holstein, brings Karl May's characters to life like nowhere else. Winnetou, Old Shatterhand, Old Surehand, Sam Hawkins and all the others bring a flavour of the Wild West to the town, whose huge open-air arena provides a spectacular setting for these legendary tales.
The adventure stories written by Karl May, who was born in Saxony in 1842, have captivated generations of young readers – which is why the spa town of Bad Segeberg decided in the 1950s to use its impressive stadium on Kalkberg hill for the Winnetou Festival, the forerunner of today's Karl May Festival. The stories featuring the Apache chief Winnetou are still the most famous of Karl May's works.
Since that time, many actors have played the coveted role. Pierre Brice, who found fame playing Winnetou in the films of the 1960s, was secured for the part in 1988. From 1992 to 2006 the role was given to Gojko Mitic, the 'Winnetou of the East'. His successor in 2007 was Erol Sander, whose portrayal of the virtuous Apache chief is the most popular to date.
It is a long-established tradition for guest stars to support the cast – Tanja Szewczenko, Mathieu Carrière, Peter Hofmann, Elke Sommer, Ralf Wolter, Martin Semmelrogge, Freddy Quinn, Lisa Fitz, Ingo Naujoks and Ingrid Steeger are among those who have played the roles of gallant heroes, sinister villains and gentle squaws. And after the show, anyone wishing to experience the Wild West for themselves can enjoy a taste of 1880s America at the Indian Village – right next door to the open-air theatre.
In 2013 Winnetou I
22-Jun-2013 - 01-Sep-2013
Standard tickets costs between €14.00 and €25.00, there are concessions for children and groups.