Castro Marim Medieval Fair 2015 (1)

The castle at Castro Marim

The castelo at Castro Marim

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.

The church is looking wonderfully festive

The church is looking wonderfully festive

You can click on any of the galleries below to see the photos in more detail.

These steps won't be empty for long!

These steps won’t be empty for long!

Time to ascend the steps to the fortress

Time to ascend to the fortress, above the village rooftops

You can see it was built on solid ground!

You can see it was built on solid ground!

The view across to distant Spain

The view across to the castle, and in the distance, Spain

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.

Who will come off best?

Who will come off best?

I was astounded by the thickness of the walls

I was astounded by the thickness of the walls

The bridge to Spain is just visible

The bridge across the River Guadiana to Spain is just visible, behind the castle

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?

78 comments

  1. I think you timed it right to see it before the crowds arrived. What an historic looking place I can imagine all the wars and conflicts those walls have seen in the past. Now I will go onto the next episode.

    1. I would not have believed it possible that so many people could fit into the space, Pauline. When we left, sometime after 9, the cars were lining the streets way out of town- just a procession of headlights! The Portuguese have much more staying power 🙂

      1. And fun was quite obviously had by all…I would’ve liked to see the jousting too. I wonder why they had it so late? Maybe to encourage people to stay till the end…

  2. Very interesting Jo – I went off and read the link to Castro Marim as I love anything to do with history! Hope the fair went off well! Gorgeous photos and stunning views! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

      1. Thanks Jo – yes life has been a bit more tranquil this weekend though my 2 young granddaughters came over today, which was great fun but kept me busy! Thanks for popping over my way again too 🙂 Hope you have a lovely week and I shall pop back to see your Monday Walk tomorrow 🙂

  3. I can’t imagine it full of people, I’ll have to wait and see. Imagine fighting a battle in that heat, it’s insane! For that matter imagine building those thick walls. I can never understand people that go on holiday and lie beside a pool when there’s so much to see – each to his own I suppose 🙂

  4. Absolutely perfect setting Jo and so colourful and beautiful. I am glad you took the shots before the tourists arrived. Excellent shots of all the beauty sweetie. If I was there, you would have found me by the horses. 😆

    Thanks for sharing it. 😀 ♥

    1. It’s wonderfully atmospheric when the fair’s on, Sonel, but we’re used to it being a quiet, sleepy little place. I don’t mind a bit of both. 🙂 Have a happy weekend, hon!

      1. I bet it is Jo and even I would love to see the fun. I do prefer the quiet though but sometimes a bit of fun can be good. 😀

        Thanks sweetie and you must have a great weekend as well. ♥

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s