TO SEE | FESTIVAL
Medieval times relive during the Trobades Médiévales Festival in Perpignan. Every year in October, the most southern city of France will be overtaken by knights, ladies, craftspeople, 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. It actually was Spanish for quite some time during the reign of the kings of Majorca from 1276 to 1344 and even 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 a great economic and demographic growth. The Trobades Médiévales bring back this period for a whole weekend. And they succeed very well! Already from the very start when entering the city through the arch of the Castillet tower, you get drawn into the Middle Ages. We couldn’t continue our stroll only after our kids tried their hands at archery, sweet melodies were played by La Compagnie Gueule de Loup, and we 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 to walk a bit further into town. It happened to be lunchtime when 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 a bite…
The cloister cemetery Campo Santo was transformed into a Medieval camp. Including a market, food and drink stands and numerous workshop. It was really well done as you had the feeling that you actually walked in the Middle Ages. I was struck by the beauty of the Campo Santo square. Seeing all the medieval tents, accessories and disguised people contributed to a really good and 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, we were entertained by various theatre companies, musical groups and dancers and we even saw an actual horse joust. It was only at home that I found out that an escape room was created in the Castillet tower. Something to try for next year!