While Harry Potter fans have been waiting years for owls bearing their admission to Hogwarts to arrive—I’m sure mine just got lost in the owl mail, right?—a few Polish wizards-in-the-making went ahead and created their own school for witchcraft and wizardry.
The College of Wizardry, a fan-made event created by volunteers from Poland and Denmark, brings together Harry Potter fans for a few days to recreate the magic of Hogwarts. Close to 200 live-action role players from 11 different countries came together to participate in the first session of the fictional Czocha College of Witchcraft and Wizardry, role playing as students, teachers, and other characters.
While the LARPers obviously cannot bring the magic to life, they’ve worked to make every other facet of a wizarding school feel real, and at the very least they’ve nailed the setting—a Polish castle.
The school has done all it can to deliver an authentic wizarding environment, or at least one close to the spirit of J.K. Rowling’s series. It sorts students, for example, into five houses: Durentius, Faust, Libussa, Molin, and Sendivogius. And if young wizards thought N.E.W.Ts were tough, students at Czocha work toward completing the difficult S.P.E.L.Ls (Senior Protective Enchanter’s Lifelong License). To round out the learning experience, Czocha is staffed with an appropriate range of professors, from “bumbling, absent-minded professors with scant memory of their own youth to sharp-tongued young lecturers.”
The first College of Wizardry session was held in November and lasted for four days, but hopeful wizards can still send in their admission fees for future semesters.
A sequel event has been scheduled for April 9-12, 2015 and will again be held at the Czocha Castle in Poland. The four-day event will run fans 280€, or about $345, so international attendees may want to start planning their Czocha Express train travel plans—or, whatever airline is a cheap alternative, of course.