Francisk is a knight belonging to the lower nobilty and serving the Duke of Habsburg. Descending from the noble family of Awr, he got castle and title of Rafenstain in 1363. Francisk owns beside the castle, a handfull of farms and two houses in the upper market in the town of Bozen. These few properties are more an expense rather then an investment, so he accepted to work as a judge in the Duke’s town of Arena (Gries) not far away from the castle.
While other knights spend money on armor equal to a big house in the city centre, Francisk can only afford the half of an old fashioned armor, since his finest pieces have already been sold long ago to pay off his household.
However he needs different clothing for different occasions, thus not always well seen from the many hungry mouths to feed at the castle.
His shirt may be of fine silk, but its full of patches! Nevertheless, the knight Francisk von Rafenstain likes his retinue very much and tries to treat them as good as possible. He was even seen helping to harvest, side by side with simple peasants.
I choosed the role of Francisk von Rafenstain already back in 1997, where i learned what reenactment was about. This was thanks to my mentor and good friend Thomas Riffeser, with whom i had the honour to co-found the Company of the Elephant ( Gesellschaft des Elefanten). I was so lucky to meet my wife on a trip to Denmark visiting the Medieval Center, and then decided to move to Denmark in 2000 and learned many other fantastic things at the medieval center of Nykøbing Falster, where the leader Peter Vemming and his family where the first ones to support me, accepting me with a kindness i can’t describe with words. Even 1400km away from castle Rafenstein, i never gave up my personal aim to restore it. I can clearly remember my first thought when i visited the castle for the first time at the age of 8: “One day, i will see this castle saved from decadence”. A possibility showed up in 1998, where i had the luck to network with an influential politician. After 10 long years of persistence, in 2008 the castle could be restored and was finally ready and reopened to the public in March 2014.
The research and reenactment group Miles Rafenstain et Servitus was created in 2005, during a very important stage for the fight to restore the castle.
I really feel to express my deepest gratitude to all members, former ones and not, as well to all our supporters – I could not have done this without you.
You share the merit that today, a whole town of 100.000 inhabitants can bend their necks back to admire the splendidly restored castle of Rafenstain.