The Medieval Fair at Silves is a must-see on the annual Algarve calendar for us – and what makes it so special are the people that we meet there each year. Some of them have become like friends to us – and many belong the wonderful Viv’Arte troupe that deliver such authentic performances and bring such life to the Fair:
So we thought we would share with you this year many of the faces and characters of the Fair – starting with our friend Laura .. and some of her friends …
The age range of the group is very impressive:
From young – to slightly older – all working together to provide a great spectacle:
It’s all taken very seriously too!
And the costumes are stunning:
And very lifelike:
Many of the actors can be captured before they begin the nightly parade through the city:
They often seem to be lost in thought – and history:
They certainly brighten up the place with their costumes!
Although this guy always seems to have the brightest outfits – and the heaviest headgear!
Here’s the lovely Laura with another of her friends:
The cast aim to recreate the historical events of the city between 1053 and 1246. In 1053 Silves was conquered by Al-Mu’tadid, the king of Seville, and the city was filled with poets, music and feasting, and wealthy merchants, a life illustrated most notably by the local poet Ibn Ammar, in his ‘Homage to Silves’.
In 1189 the city was attacked by Don Sancho I of Portugal, with the help of the knights of the Third Crusade, and the Muslims surrendered. Many battles and ‘changes of ownership’ ensued, until 1246 when the city was finally conquered by D. Afonso III who granted the city its first charter.
A rich history – full of colour, pageant and battles – and all brought back to life for 10 days each year!
Each night reflects a different section of the city’s history and story:
And each year a different part of this rich history is given a special focus, complete with drama and rich costumes to match:
The attention to detail is most impressive.
And all overseen by the watchful eye of ‘The Boss’ of the troupe – who is most elusive when there is a camera around!
But it’s not just the Viv’Arte group that dress up – the stallholders all enter into the spirit of the show with elaborate costumes and brightly decorated stalls:
Our favourite is always the engaging and delightful Sergio Silva – now that man knows how to pose for the camera!
There are also street musicians to entertain you – in traditional period costume playing folk and medieval music like the Al Medievo group:
There is music and dancing almost on every corner for you to enjoy:
And the musicians seem to enjoy the event as much as the crowd:
You can turn a corner and find yourself enthralled by a dancer:
Or wait on the steps of the Cathedral for a performance to begin:
This is the wonderful Eduardo who together with his group, plays for the Oriental belly dancers – he is such a gifted musician and such a humble gentle man:
The Escola de Dança Oriental – led by Denise de Carvalho – are a vibrant, energetic and wonderful group of dancers:
So much colour and movement to enjoy:
And so much emotion is portrayed:
As an artist – I found them very inspiring!
And all around are actors and dancers and musicians to entertain you and fill the streets with colour and life:
Even the statues in the water are given a make-over:
So to everyone that helps to make this the wonderful, vibrant and enthralling spectacle that it is each year – we thank you!
Until next year!
If you have enjoyed this post – you might also enjoy seeing more of the Stalls and Shopping from this year’s Fair … and we will be adding another post soon!
For more stunning shots of the People of Silves Medieval Fair – you might also like to check out Dave’s Photography website: