Each year in early August the city of Belvès turns its clock back to Medieval times, this year the Fête was held on the 6th and 7th August. On the 6th August was a medieval banquet and on the 7th August was the Fête Fantastique.
I have been wanting to visit Belvès at this particular time of year for a long time, due to the fact that the whole city recreates the Medieval period. Everyone from the shop owners, restaurants, market place, local people and children are all dressed in costume. Hand made merchandise such as leather goods, wooden toys, shields, pots and pans, costumes, jewellery, street food etc. are offered for sale at the stalls that line the market square and byways.
This was the head of the procession through the Medieval quarter of the city. On the left are the English Knights and on the right a French knight and his Princess.
The Knights and Princess set off and were followed by clergy, musicians, pagan dancers, people of the city in costume, Vikings and beggars.
The Vikings were called “Berserker’s” and they lived up to their name at every opportunity they would suddenly stop for combat manoeuvre’s and go berserk by hacking at each others shields, the object to beat your opponent to the ground.
Very authentic looking beggars.
Gorgeous costumes of the pagan dancers.
I was approached by “a wicked step mother” wanting me to taste her rosy red apple. It is not everyday that you get to play Snow White!
There were various encampments around the city, this was part of the Viking camp. Where you could watch a sword being made, it was totally fascinating watching the blacksmith at work, the skill of his workmanship was wonderful.
Again in the Viking camp was a wood turner, creating table legs, door knobs etc.
Unfortunately, all the afternoon events seemed to start at roughly the same time so we had to pick which event we really wanted to see the most, the Knights won. We could have seen the falconry display and the Viking Combats at a later time but we had to get back home, but no loss, we will just return another year.
Cheval Spectacle – was a series of equestrian competitions between the English and the French, to be fare I think that it was a draw. Of course the arrogant Knight was Sir Steven dressed in English colours. There seemed to be a lot of British people in the audience, they certainly gave Sir Steven a lot of encouragement when he rode past at full speed to cut apples in two with his sword. He also won shooting an arrow from his horse while galloping by a picture of a wild boar. The French Queen won the silk purse, defeating the English Knight at the last minute.
It was a great day out and we can recommend the Fête médiévale à Belvès very highly, a must to see and a great experience.