Seldom have I seen such a sleepy little place so transformed, and yet you have only to look at these fortifications to know that Castro Marim has a turbulent past. Situated at the cut and thrust of the Portuguese border with Spain, the Medieval Fair brings back to life the mighty fortress of São Sebastião. In the 14th century the castle was a stronghold of the Knights Templar, but it fell into disuse when additional fortifications were built on the hill opposite, in the 17th century. The fortress is seldom open to the public so I was delighted to find it playing a major role in the festival.
If you’re interested in the history of Castro Marim the link will tell you more. For myself, I’m going to take a quiet stroll, before the crowds descend.
You can click on any of the galleries below to see the photos in more detail.
It was a sultry day and not hard to get into the mood. From within the fortress came grunts and clangs, the ‘masters’ putting the youth through their paces. A smattering of people looked on, choosing a favourite.
I’m ready to saunter back down into the streets, where the parade is about to start. Before I do, I’d like to link this post to Ed Mooney’s Capturing History Challenge, which I’ve been meaning to join for a week or two. He’ll explain how it works to you, and I’ll be back tomorrow with the parade and a look inside the castle. Join me then?