Thursday, 26 May 2011

Medieval Festival in Auvillar

Auvillar "d'un plus beaux village de France" in deepest South West France never ceases to amaze me with the events and activities going on. This sleepy little bastide village of around 1000 residents is perched on a hill over looking the River Garonne in the Midi Pyrenees and awakens from is temporary winter slumber in a blaze of glory around April each year.

Inhabitents swell in numbers for the summer and the village rises to the influx of tourists by putting on a show in every sense of the word. This year through the winter the narrow cobbled streets have been renewed, antique style street lamps been repainted and renovation work on some of the old buildings has started in ernest. The first big event of the year was at the end of April when for the first time the village hosted a medieval festival.

Locals, people from neighbouring villages and towns, tourists and pilgrims walking the Saint Jacques de compostelle all gathered to witness the all day spectacle.

Knights on horses, medieval ceremonies including a wedding outside the church, jousting, sword fighting, fire eating and open air plays as well as a medieval supper occupied everyone for the day which again was blessed by fantastic weather. Even the children were catered for with rides on the jousting horses, play sword fights and a set of stocks took centre stage for a while when parents (who didn't need much ecouraging) put their kids in them for the customary photographs.

The next festival (St Noe) is 18th and 19th June where the village celebrates the vine and blesses the forth comming wine harvest in a traditional way. As always its is an excuse for a good old knees up with of course plenty of wine!! Make a date in your diary and check our availability.

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