Medieval Enchantment

“I’d like to do a story about the medieval ages where in every scene you’d sort of feel that you were in the 12th century. That would be great to get that feeling” Oliver Stone

Silves Medieval Fair 001

As promised, a post to share the wonderful sights and colourful spectacle of this year’s Silves Medieval Fair – we did warn you that we would be visiting this more than once and we actually managed to go on five different nights … fabulous!

For the first time this year, you had to pay to enter – but we only paid 4 Euros each for a wristband that gave us access for the whole 9 nights. It cost more if you wanted to actually go to the shows each evening, but we were more than happy to just wander round, soaking up the atmosphere and the sights – and as you will see from the photos – we had a great time and made lots of new friends too!

Silves Medieval Fair 002

One of our favourite things was meeting the actors of the Viv’Arte group – the theatre company from Aveiro, central Portugal, who were drafted in by the Silves’ Câmara to ‘save the day’ as the Fair was under threat this year. The company were responsible for funding and promoting the event, as the Câmara did not have the necessary finances in place to hold the event. I have to say – the theatre company did a magnificent job! They specialise in historical re-enactments and brought a vigour and energy to the whole week.

Silves Medieval Fair 003

They also enjoyed having their photographs taken!

Silves Medieval Fair 004 You can find out more about them here via their Facebook page Companhia Teatro Vivarte

Special thanks go to Tiago and ‘the little one’ who were delightful and always seemed so pleased to see us with our cameras!

Tiago was a very special young man, with grand ambitions for his future acting career – let’s hope he makes it!

Silves Medieval Fair 006

And ‘the little one’ (Laura) wins the award for ‘shot of the week’ – those eyes were truly stunning!

Silves Medieval Fair 007

We also made new friends from the Belly Dancers troupe – a fantastically talented and colourful group – and boy could they dance!

Silves Medieval Fair 008 With the stunning backdrop of the cathedral, they charmed the crowds with their vibrant dancing and music:

Silves Medieval Fair 009 But I’m going to have to make a small blogger’s confession now … my favourites (by far!) were the Italian Gruppo Sbandieratori Fornovo flag wavers and musicians from Parma.

Hubby called me a ‘bit shallow’ at this point – but hey, what’s not to like about a bunch of rather dishy Italian men (and there were women too!) dressed in Medieval costumes throwing flags in the air to some excellent drumming?!!!

Silves Medieval Fair 010  They were a very talented group!

Silves Medieval Fair 011 Oh – and some were a bit handsome too!  :)

Silves Medieval Fair 012

The Fair never fails to thrill – from the first procession of the evening:

Silves Medieval Fair 013 To the market stalls, full of colour, produce, Moroccan lanterns and spices:

Silves Medieval Fair 014 And the street entertainers and musicians:

Silves Medieval Fair 015 And all set against the wonderful backdrop of the historic town of Silves:

Silves Medieval Fair 016 Let’s hope that the Câmara ensures that the Fair can return again next year! (Oh and if they can book the Italian Gruppo Sbandieratori Fornovo flag wavers again that would be great!!)

Silves Medieval Fair 017  You may also like our post about last year’s Fair too – Silves Medieval Fair 2011

And for more images from the Fair, check out our Silves Medieval Fair 2012 album on Facebook

All Images © Dave Sheldrake and Alyson Sheldrake http://www.a3art.co.uk

Thank you to everyone that allowed us to take their photograph.

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25 Responses to Medieval Enchantment

  1. It’s great you had such incredible access to the ‘backstage’ areas – it makes for a very interesting post – especially with such photogenic, and willing, subjects :)

    • ferragudofan says:

      It was hard not to take good photos! they were all so welcoming and friendly, it really made it a special experience for us

      • I’m sure it made it very special – and hope that atmosphere continues each year.

        Years ago, when I was first living here in Sri Lanka I went to a perahera that was locally famous, but unknown on the tourist trail – even the three wheeler drivers didn’t know how to get there – and had much the same experience wandering around in the dressing up areas, the marshalling points, taking photographs all the way. I might not have had a front row spot for watching the parade, but it hardly mattered – I had had a unique experience, something that has never been surpassed. :)

  2. fgassette says:

    WOW! Beautiful photos that bring you right into the environment to experience the time. Thanks for sharing.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

  3. Diego says:

    È stata una fiera fantastica e ci siamo divertiti davvero tanto …. Speriamo magari di ritornarci un altro anno …. ciao Silves .

  4. sami veloso says:

    A very exciting fair for sure!! Great entertainment as well. Hope the fair continues for many years.

  5. restlessjo says:

    I’ll make a special effort to get there if it is. It reminds me very much of our lovely time in Obidos, which coincided with the Medieval Fair. Silves is an equally good setting and I love your photos.

    Whatever does Dave mean, “shallow”? It looked highly cultured to me!

  6. maria jorge says:

    great pictures really capturing the atmosphere, make me want to be there next year

    maria jorge

  7. sarsm says:

    Wow it looks fantastic!! The entry price is very cheap to. We have medieval markets here but they are really expensive, which is a shame. (And there aren’t any belly dancers or hunky flag throwers ;-))

  8. dadirri7 says:

    sensational fair and photos :)

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  11. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Oh, I loved this – it’s fantastic. How FANTASTIC to see those photos, & I’m so far away from the action.

    Loved your write-up too. Yes, the actors sure loved having their photos taken! :) You must be having the time of your life. Thanks for showing me “another world”. And I’d never seen that Oliver Stone quote – very apt.

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