Orihuela Medieval Market – February the 1st – An event not to be missed!
Orihuela Medieval Market
The 1st of February sees the return of the Orihuela Medieval Market. The popular annual event is now in it´s nineteenth year having run uninterrupted since it´s inception in 1988. Always a popular tourist attraction, the three-day event attracts more than half-a-million visitors each year. It is one of the largest Medieval markets in Spain. The market consists of two separate areas; the Moorish (Arab) zone and the Christian zone. Each area will host daily parades, music, dances, puppet shows, as well as workshops of ancient crafts featuring local artisans, theatrical groups and artists, all of whom have spent months in preparation for the festival. This years event promises to be as big and spectacular as the preceding years.
So if the idea of stepping back in history to a time when the Moors and Christians dominated the landscape appeals, then this is definitely for you. Every effort is made by the performers and merchants to give an authentic representation of what it was like to live in those turbulent times. One of the main features of the event is the re-enactments where Arab and Christian soldiers dressed in the armour of the time and wielding antique weaponry stage mock battles on the streets of the historic old town. For those interested in learning more about the techniques employed in the era there are plenty of workshops and exhibitions dedicated to silk-making, calligraphy, tinsmiths, cartography and stone-carving.
The market itself will be spread across an area of four-square kilometres, so comfortable footwear is a must if you plan on taking it all in. The narrow streets and plazas of the ancient town of Orihuela will be lined with brightly-coloured stalls offering the usual market staples, clothing, fruit, bakery products and delicatessen. The air will be thick with the aroma of freshly-cooked paella and sizzling hog-roast. For the adults there will be copious amounts of ale and beer to wash those mouth-watering treats down with. The stall-holders dress in traditional garb adding to the authenticity and magic of the festivities. Which includes on-street entertainment provided by jesters, jugglers, fire-breathers and stilt-walkers. Accompanied by trapeze-artists, colourfully-clad dancers and singers.
For the little ones there is a specially designated children’s fun corner. Comprising a play area where kids are shown how to play games of the time like Gammon, Raffle, Halatafi and Queek. And a leisure area where they can opt to be amused by the comedic puppet shows on offer. If none of this is to their liking then you can treat them to a ride on that eternal kids favourite; the Ferris-wheel. After which they can visit the Animal Farm where they will have the chance to pet donkeys and rabbits, or feed the ducks and chickens. Meanwhile by the side of the cathedral the falconers with leather gloved arms display their majestic birds of prey.
The upcoming Orihuela Medieval Market promises to be a veritable treat for all ages and a fantastic and fun way to get better acquainted with the culture and history of Mediterranean Spain. The event runs from the 1st to the 3rd of February. For more information visit
http://www.orihuelaturistica.es/orihuela/web_php/index.php?contenido=esdev&idEsdev=157 or alternatively http://www.orihuela.es/educacion-cultura-deportes-y-festividades/concejalia-de-festividades/mercado-medieval/
For those travelling to Orihuela for the Medieval market it is advisable to check out the many hotels and holiday apartments in neighbouring Orihuela Costa and Torrevieja, as accommodation in the old town may prove difficult to come by. Orihuela council have specially arranged transport in place to cater for visitors staying in Orihuela Costa.
Watch a video of the 2017 Medieval market HERE