Fêtes médiévals

August is a colourful month of medieval costumes, mock battles between knights, and celtic music..

Travelling jugglers, acrobats, and troubadours pass through the Dropt valley, celebrating the historic ‘Bataille de Castillon’ of July 17th 1453. For almost two centuries english Kings had been in possession of half of France. That final confrontation between the english and french, followed by the surrender of Bordeaux in October of the same year, brought an end to the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453). This victory retrieved french soil from the english forever.

It was during the middle age that the bastide (fortified) towns, abbeys , churches, mills and bridges were constructed, some  by the english, such as Sauveterre de Guyenne, founded in 1287, that characterise this land, and make a perfect backdrop for the ‘fêtes médiévales.’

medieval fete
A knighthood,
for a good boy.


Funambulist.

marionettes

In a Marionette workshop, we fabricated our own dolls. We learned that in medieval times children made play dolls in the image of Mariole/Marion (Virgin Mary), thus the root of the puppets name.


Between 11th and 13th century, Troubadours wandered the south of France, often singing love songs.

On true love are all my thoughts bent,
And my desires and my sweetest days,
With true and faithful heart I’ll serve always,
To live close to Amor I do consent.
(Piere Raiman 1180-1220)

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16 thoughts on “Fêtes médiévals

  1. I love your photos. We have just had our annual medieval festival in our town. Last year it was cancelled because of bad weather. This year we managed to get most of the day out of it before the deluge. I did manage to get some photos, in between the showers.

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  2. It so good to hear about this from the other side of the pond. The Norman French ransacked our city in the 1300s. Southampton, England once had a French Street for the french-speaking gentry and an English Street, for the common people (until Chaucer changed all that). The King kept his Bordeaux wines here. Nowadays we even celebrate Bastille day and also have Medieval Troubadors. Southampton is twinned with Le Havre.

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    1. I am a welsh/english living here, and I am discovering history from a perspective, this side of the pond. Not all french people identify with the Franks, or the Romans before them, but with the Celts. The squabbles over the lands of Europe have been those of the dynasties of germanic tribes. But while I have been focusing on the possessive english of medieval times, its a good thing to be reminded of norman french aggressions toward the english during the same period. Its shamefully a case of ‘ditto’. I hope you agree.

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  3. Medieval knights and ladies dressed in gorgeous costumes are so fascinating. I read many books about King Arthur but have only been two festivals. Here in Ohio we have Renaissance festivals that have fairly high costs like a concert. Thanks for sharing all the photos including Punch and Judy puppets. 🙂

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