Orihuela Medieval Market
Orihuela Medieval Market is a spectacular three day event that fills the air with mystery and magic. The market is held at the beginning of February each year in the streets and plazas of the historic old town, where the wonderful old buildings add an air of authenticity to the festivities. It is one of the largest medieval markets in Spain, receiving over half a million visitors each year. Various individuals, theatrical groups and societies spend months in preparation for the event.
Orihuela Medieval Market
The market showcases what life was like during those turbulent times when Christians and Moors dominated the land. During medieval times, villages and towns depended mainly on their local produce. There would be fruit and vegetable sellers, bakers and meat sellers, but not much else in the way of day to day staples as well as luxuries. Therefore markets were very important and a major source of hard to find produce. As is seen in the Orihuela Medieval Market, they also provided exciting entertainment and the chance to meet up with distant friends and family.
Orihuela Medieval Market Stalls
Around 400 market stalls are set up throughout the streets of the old town. These cover an area of over 4 kilometres so a sturdy and comfortable pair of shoes is advisable. The townsfolk and visiting stall holders pull out all the stops in order to make their stalls as authentic as possible. Bright coloured awnings give the narrow streets a tunnel like effect, adding to the mystical feel of the market. Most stall holders really get into the swing of the occasion, dressing in medieval costumes and doing their best to play the part. Children too enjoy parading in their costumes.
Throughout the market stalls visitors can browse an interesting range of products and crafts. Some of the crafts are showcased in workshops and exhibitions using methods of the era. These include stone carving, tinsmiths, silk making, cartography and calligraphy. The weapons and armour of the time are spectacular, and at times quite frightening. Other stalls include clothing, fruit and vegetables, bakery products, delicatessen and all sorts of wonderful cooked food stalls. Favourites among these include sizzling hog roasts, paellas, and of course plenty beer and ale.
Orihuela Medieval Market Parades & Activities
Orihuela Medieval Market 2017 featured three activity and leisure zones. These were the leisure zone, Christians zone and Arab zone. Various events, parades, shows and re-enactments take place in each zone at different times on each of the market days. These create hives of activity with visitors rushing to catch a chosen show. You will see fearful Christian and Arab soldiers representing past battles and struggles. Stilt walkers, jesters and fire breathers will have the young ones squealing in excitement. Trapeze artists, dancers and singers entertain too.
There are play areas where children can see games of old such as Halatafi, Gammon, Queek and Raffle. Exhibitions of weapons, armour, clothing, ancient medicine and falconry give a feel for the time. Medieval tournaments and fire shows are popular, and there is a fun children's corner. Here the young ones can play games, ride the ferris wheel, listen to storytelling and watch funny puppet shows. Another children's favourite is the Animal Farm. They will get the chance to pet donkeys, rabbits, ducks and chickens, and learn about how important livestock was to the locals.
Getting To Orihuela Medieval Market
Orihuela is fairly lacking in hotel accommodation, even at the quietest of times. Therefore, unless you have booked accommodation well in advance, during the Orihuela Medieval Market you will struggle to find lodgings. However, to compensate for this the town hall usually arrange transport from Orihuela Costa. Here, and in neighbouring Torrevieja there is a better choice of hotels and holiday apartments. Alternately you could try one of the surrounding towns.