Always longed for a dashing knight who smashed someones brains to impress you?
Had fantasies about being a lady embroidering things in her room and looking out the window to detect her lover in the distance?
Always dreamed of galloping to your opponent and punch him with one whip off the saddle?
In your imagination, you had breakfast with warm beer and porridge from a wooden plate while you make plans for the hunt that day?
Imagine all the people …
That imagination is shared by a large group of people around the world. Last weekend there was an extraordinary medieval festival in Montemor-o-Velho, 11 km as the crow flies from here.
There are more medieval festivals, but not with tournaments. Then it is with music in the streets, dressed-up people everywhere, plays, big pots to cook meals on.. A beggar with a ratty nose (make-up, mind you, sorry), a falconer who gives a demonstration, a juggler, a seductive gypsy dancer, a knight with a real sword and many headgear and long skirts everywhere.
The booths are made of tree trunks, everything goes without plugs, but the glasses stay on. A beautiful impression, you get on the photoblog Um pigo de luz.
In Montemor-o-velho, there was an exceptional festival. Combatants from 26 countries fighting in groups, in fours or in a duel. And they are not going easy at eachother, as you can see on this video!
There are strict rules. Equally strict are the referees, who closely watch everything that hapens There are ultimately only a few bruises and bloody noses, but it is not theater. This is seriously fighting. The competition is taken as seriously as the World Cup.
Only it’s something more intimate. Less teammates, less spectators than the World Cup. Seems an advantage, if you ask me. Not so massive. And a lot more fun! (But that’s my personal opinion)
There are clubs and associations where you can train and where knowledge is shared. The IMCF (International Medieval Combat Federation) organizes such a spectacle every year since 2013.
12 578 people like this on Facebook. In 26 countries you can go if you’re interested. In the Netherlands, no, I’m afraid, you’ll have to go to Belgium. Belgium is not doing so bad, like Portugal.
Excuse me, what time is it?
It is wonderful to see how medieval and contemporary goes without any problem. Everything walks on the streets in a medieval way, together, and everything is in this contemporary way recorded and shared on facebook. The falcon sits on an old leather glove, but goes in a 4×4 on a journey. The juggler, having a break, sneaks at his whatsapps on his phone.
It is an experience. Travel back in time is a desire that many people know.
And like this it is possible, at least for the most part.
The best of both worlds
Because of course it is nice if you can step into a modern bed-with-clean-sheets and you do not need to sleep on a 13th century-straw-bed-with-fleas. It is so delicious that your morning breakfast exists of croissants and a nice meia-de-leite* instead of bland warm beer and millet porridge. Very nice that you can pee on a water closet, and you do not have to go in the bushes. Swim in a clean pool instead of a muddy puddle.
We had half the village packed with middleeuwse guests. When I did the rooms, I stumbled upon swords, leather chain mails, big boots and long dresses, in addition to laptops, empty juice cartons, push-up bras and phone chargers.
This month there is a medieval festival in Coimbra. June 18th. Keep an eye our facebook page – we will have a Modern room at Medieval prices for you!
Come and see, come and see!