Cáceres medieval market, a journey back through tim
To the sound of drums, lutes and bagpipes, the streets of Cáceres come alive with the medieval market, which includes endless street performances, art and craft workshops and street food. Flags fly from the towers. In the Christian quarter, banners and streamers bearing insignia and emblems are displayed. Characters dressed in medieval tunics, capes and hats mingle with the crowds, offering a unique experience. In the Moorish quarter you will find yourself surrounded by henna tattooing and belly dancing, while in the Jewish quarter you will come across exhibitions of antique weapons, falconry and live woodworking and pottery demonstrations. You can even watch a blacksmith stamp coins with a hammer.
Entertainment at Cáceres street market
As well as artisan products and food, the market includes a number of activities and performances that liven up the old quarter of Cáceres. Street entertainers, including actors and musicians, create a medieval atmosphere and invite visitors to take part. Jesters and fantasy creatures wander through the streets to complete the experience, and even watchmen do their rounds. A procession of geese takes place at certain times of the day and there are puppet shows.
Among the 150 market stalls, one holds speed painting and costume competitions in which everyone is invited to participate. A visit to a tavern is a must, especially one filled with the heavenly aroma of a whole pig gently roasting on a spit.
The dramatic re-enactments of medieval battles are also worth watching. Watch knights clad in heavy armour as they battle their enemies to the end. Swords meet in the air in a mighty clash while onlookers – especially the youngest – gasp with astonishment. Another popular attraction is the falconry show. Through this ancient art you can experience the captivating beauty of free-flying birds of prey up close, and even don the leather glove yourself.
You can also visit exhibits of weapons and torture chambers, learn about the medieval history of Cáceres and take part in food tasting experiences.
Children’s entertainment and live music at the Medieval Market of Three Cultures
The Cáceres medieval market also includes a children’s area, in the Plaza Mayor and surrounding area. Here the little ones can have fun on the merry-go-round and medieval rides. There is also a puppet theatre, giant chessboard and a stage where concerts are held. A few metres away a small farm offers donkey rides, and classic group and board games are organised.
Music also adds to the atmosphere in the flawlessly decked-out old town. Groups of musicians dressed in period costume play old instruments and sing medieval, Sephardic and Moorish songs and tunes. You can come across them in any of the market’s three quarters (Christian, Moorish and Jewish). Groups of serenaders (rondallas) also provide entertainment, and night-time concerts are held beneath the city wall.
Local artisans at the medieval fair
Most of the local artisans can be found in an area known as Foro de los Balbos, a small square next to the city wall where council meetings used to take place. As well as watching them while they work, you can buy products ranging from wooden figurines, leather bags, lamps, jewellery and even perfumes and natural essences. Others find their way to the visitor’s heart through their stomach by offering traditional sweets, delicious medieval sandwiches and craft beers.
Book a weekend off and visit the Cáceres medieval market. You will be dazzled and entertained by minstrels, knights in shining armour and legendary druids. An excellent plan, especially if you are visiting with children.