Medieval times are brought back to life during the Trobades Médiévales Festival in Perpignan. Every year in October, the most southern city in France is overtaken by knights, ladies, crafts-people, troubadours, artists and many more. Travel back to the time when Perpignan was the mainland capital of the Kingdom of Majorca.
French or Spanish
Perpignan is the last French city before the Spanish border. From 1276 to 1344, it was actually Spanish for quite some time during the reign of the kings of Majorca. And even for a while after that time. It wasn’t until 1659 that Perpignan became, and remained, French again. Now I understand why this beautiful Mediterranean town still offers a nice blend of French and Spanish culture.
Archery and sweet melodies
During the Middle Ages, Perpignan experienced tremendous economic and demographic growth. The Trobades Médiévales bring this period back for a whole weekend. And they succeed very well! Upon entering the city, through the arch of the Castillet tower, you are already drawn into the Middle Ages. We couldn’t continue our stroll until after our kids tried their hands at archery, with La Compagnie Gueule de Loup playing sweet melodies. Of course, we also had to stop at a stand with swords, shields and catapults.
Rats and spiders
After an alley full of old-fashioned wooden games, we finally succeeded in walking a bit further into town. It happened to be lunchtime just as we saw this Medieval food truck avant la lettre pass by. This “rataurante” offered our kids a very delicate bite: fresh rats and spiders pinned on a sandwich! This time, I didn’t encourage them to try…
The cloister cemetery Campo Santo had been transformed into a Medieval camp. Including a market, food and drink stands and numerous workshops. It all was done in perfection. As a result, you had the feeling that you had actually stepped into the Middle Ages when walking around. The beauty of the Campo Santo square struck me. Seeing all the medieval tents, accessories and people dressed up created a realistic, historic atmosphere.
The great thing about the whole festival was that it didn’t feel commercial at all. The kids could try different battle styles, while various theatre companies, musical groups and dancers entertained us. We even saw an actual horse joust. Les Trobades Médiévales made us go back in time, and we would love to go back next year!