The Origin of the Carousel

The Origin of the Carousel

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carousel overview

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The carousel, known as a merry-go-round, is a fun attraction that can be found at carnivals, fairs or in amusement parks. It is beautifully adorned, with intricate artwork and is often decorated with glistening lights, symbols of horses or other animals. Children and parents love it. But how was the carousel invented? What led to its apparition?

The Origin of the Carousel

Believe or not, the carousel was first intended for knights in the Middle Ages to use for training and for having fun. Crusaders returning from battle have picked up the idea from the Arabs.

It wasn’t until an unpleasant event happened that the carousel became more popular. The event was the death of king Henry II of France.  In the Middle Ages, jousting was a very popular sport and entertainment. The knights and kings practiced it and the crowds adored the show.

In June, 1559, France was celebrating two important events: the marriage of Henry ‘s daughter Catherine de Medici  to Phillip II of Spain, and the signing of the peace agreement Cateau- Cambresis, by Henry and the same Phillip.

In order to celebrate, the king participated in a jousting tournament during which he was fatally injured. A splinter from a lance hit his eyes and he died soon after. .

After the royal death, it became clear that jousting was too dangerous and it was banned. Thus the carousel became the new entertaiment. With the passing of years, the craftsmanship evolved and the carousels became more and more beautiful and complex.

Did you know about the origins of the carousel?

Katie Zahel
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