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Dear Freaks and Friends of Sideshow Art, Circus Traditions, Vaudeville theatres and Carnivales...
Welcome to Lompazius' World of Wonders Sideshow and Blog.
You will find some History about the Sideshow Traditions in Europe and of Course News of the Circus Sideshow Lompazius and Funfairs around the region...

take a look , enjoy the ride, have fun

Dilo Lompazius

Samstag, 21. Januar 2012

Schueberfouer - Funfair Tradition since 1340

The Schueberfouer is the annual Luxembourg city fair held every year on the Glacis car park in Limpertsberg. It is the biggest fair in the country. The 2010 is the 670th edition.
The Schueberfouer starts on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday before Saint Bartholomew's day (24 August) and closes on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday before 12 September in order to last 20 days every year. In 2010, the fair comprised 184 attractions including 27 major rides, 13 children's rides and 54 restaurants and snacks bars.[1] In 2007 the fair attracted over 2 million visitors.

John the Blind, King of Bohemia and Count of Luxembourg, founded the Schueberfouer on 20 October 1340. The founding document stated:It will begin on the eve of the feast of St Bartholomew and will last for a full eight days. Even today, it remains linked to St Bartholomew's day, 24 August, the traditional opening date. The name Schueberfouer is thought to originate from the name of the market place where it was first held: the Schuedburg, today's Plateau St Esprit. For almost 450 years, it was indeed just a large market for everything from food and livestock to cloth and pottery. The fair moved to the Glacis in 1610 after the Limpertsberg wood had been removed to improve the city's fortifications. During the 18th century, shows and games became part of the fair but it was not until the 20th century that a Ferris wheel and a rollercoaster first appeared.[2]


The Shobermesse also in America

Chicago Schueberfouer

Attractions  (klick on it)



in 19. centurie


Circusses and Sideshows on the Schueberfouer

From the 18th century on, concerts occurred at the Schueberfouer. At the beginning of the 19th century, ceramics from Echternach, Nospelt and Septfontaines made the happiness of the visitors, in 1821 it was the “Ménagerie Simon” that brought lions, Orang-Outan monkeys, vultures, eagles and parrots to be presented to a public which did not know these exotic animals since the zoos did not exist yet and that the fair was the only means of seeing these animals by near.
In the years 1840 occurred the true change. The products of use took the above and a real amusement”industry” appeared. In 1844 the first Variétés were present at the Schueberfouer. Thus there was to admire as human attractions this year a native of Australia and a South American from Antigua, but in truth these came from the not so far away city of Trier. The "Showtime" made its entry and exoticism, magic and mysticism appeared on the fairground. But presentations of atypical humans had already taken place quite before. So in 1633 there has been the hairy man, and in 1683 the giant Johann Sander were introduced to an amazed public.
At the 19th century the glasses presented by "the optician Strauss of the court of Cologne" made a misfortune and binoculars, microscopes, thermometers and barometers were presented at an interested public.
In 1849 there was for the first time a "Panorama" at the Schueberfouer. The panorama was a kind of review where the public sat down in a circle around a formed partition of a fabric. At the interior of this fabric illuminated images were made to turn. At this manner the public was informed, in images, of the last events of the last year. The panorama held until the arrival of the cinematographs which replaced it progressively.
Theatre appeared at the Schueberfouer in 1850, "world’s strongest man" presented himself, more and more animalist numbers and other artistic shows were presented. The ninepins formed also integral part of the Schueberfouer at the 19th century. At some time there were 8 tracks of skittles on the fair. In the dancings which also apperead by that time, young couples drew from the "Planéiten" (these were rolled pieces of paper on which one saw oneself predicted its destiny), and stands of confectioneries and sugar refineries entered on the fairground. It is besides at that time that lays the origin of the confectionery Coné still known today for its Schappnougat. The creation of the Amberg establishment goes up to 1862. This Luxembourg variété already occupied in 1893 not less than 600 square meters and disputed with the three other "cafés-charmants" Letté, Gerlach and Renquin, the favours of the public.
In 1851 it is made mention for the first time of the presence of a circus at the Schueberfouer. It is however not clear if it is really the first time that there was a circus at the Schueberfouer, in any case, that is the first mention of it. With the passing of years the circuses formed integral part of the Schueberfouer. In 1864 there was for example the "National Circus" with more than 30 horses, in 1894 the "Plège Circus" and in 1896 the "Schuman Circus".
In 1893, the Schueberfouer definitively moves to the Glacis, its current site in the south of the Scheffer alley in the part reserved originally for the animal market. The Scheffer alley was built under the initiative of mayor Scheffer at the beginning of the 19th century. Originally it had three rows of trees and it marked the limit between the military zone of the Glacis and the free district of Limpertsberg. It still corresponds today to the administrative limit between the districts of city-centre and Limpertsberg. The Glacis was at this time fields which were only asphalted in 1975. Thus during long years it was neither very pleasant in rainy weather (puddle pools of water and mud), nor in too dry weather (dust).

The major attraction in 1897 was John Grün, the world’s strongest man who gave representations at the "Grand Théâtre Fernando". Here people could also assist with each spectacle at a decapitation In. 1898 John Grün presented a number where he balanced a carrousel with 11 people on it during several minutes.
But let’s get back to the circuses. They did not all assemble their tents at the Glacis. Many representations were also held in the fixed building out of stone which was the circus "Renquin" which existed until 1904 at the corner Avenue Pasteur / Rue Alfred de Musset. This round construction offered place to 2000 people and was built in 1886.
In 1899 the "Circus of the Netherlands" with place for 2600 people was in Luxembourg, in 1906 there were two small circuses at the Glacis and, because lack of place, the circus "Buffalo Bill" had to install its tents (with covered places for 3500 people) in the fields in Merl. One presented (that at two meetings throughout all Schueberfouer) a wild west show.(the famous Buffalo Bill Wild West Show from the U.S)
In 1900 attractions were a "house of laughter", the "theatre of the alive images" (the precursor of the cinema), "the woman without head" (in truth, inevitably without faking...). Besides tigers and snakes were presented at an admiring public and a (small) big-wheel was also present.
A puppet theatre was at the Schueberfouer in 1905 and the "anatomical museum" of Mrs Spitzner from Paris shocked the visitors of at least 20 years of age with various anatomical models.
The "anatomical museaum" of Madame Spitzner in 1905

Other circuses that visited the Schueberfouer were the "Circus de Jonghe" from Brussels which came regularly to Luxembourg and which took up a little later the idea of the wild west shows, that were quite popular at that time. In 1910 the "Circus Busch" announced the French Alfons troop and their "race of dead" on a bicycle above a cage of lions like the show that has to be seen absolutely. In 1912 the major attraction was the "Circus P. Wilke" from Scandinavia and in 1913 the "Circus Carré" went to the Glacis, as the oldest circus at the world.
A figure related to the circuses of the Schueberfouer is Jean Clement (1893-1937), originating in a showman and yenish traveller family of Pfaffenthal. As an acrobat and clown he made speak about him with its number of "Captain Jean Clement" as an equilibrist on a high mast of 12 meters.
By the time, the circuses however lost their attraction, on the one hand because other distractions awaited the visitors, on the other hand also since the great advertisements and promises were not held any more.
With the turning of the century, one sold porcelain and kitchen utensils in the alley Scheffer, the merchants of textiles and jewels settled to the park side. Between the two there were the dancing halls, the carrousels and the variétés like "Mellinis Theater", the "Grand Théâtre des Variétés " or the "Simon Theatre". Thus Schueberfouer was interesting for everyone. The farmers found their happiness at the cattle market and the fashionable townsmen could get dressed according to last tendencies.. .

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