Travel Log: The Medieval Journey in the Land of Santa Maria

Hello, painters!

I have another travel log for you from this past year! I know what you are thinking: I did an entire blog post about trips from my 2014 and I still have more?! Well, I do! What an exciting life, isn’t it? 😉 This was a very short, one day trip, and that’s why I didn’t include it in the last post, but instead decided to give it a post of its own.

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Here in Portugal, we usually have a lot of medieval theme fairs in the summer, some bigger than others. But one of the biggest and most famous is, without a doubt, the one in Santa Maria da Feira, a city near Porto, called The Medieval Journey in the Land of Santa Maria.

It’s funny that the name of the city is very literally “fair”, a name that the Land of Saint Mary (Terra de Santa Maria) shares with its beautiful castle (Castelo da Feira, or Castle of the Fair)! Besides the castle, the oldest part of the city still has a lot of its medieval architecture, which makes it a perfect setting for this event. And it’s not just the setting that makes it so real, the way it is taken seriously by everyone also helps to build that realistic medieval feel: the workers all dress up in period clothing; there are street entertainers acting like typical people in those days; there are 312 shows with medieval performances (such as music, reenactments, belly dancing, …); and even 28 theme areas with different activities (like archery, falconry, the stables, camping sites of military forces or the moors, fortresses, castles and open air markets, …). The fair itself is huge (the venue is made up of 33 acres of land!) and the attractions it offers are plenty and diverse, so it would probably compensate to get a week-long pass, instead of just going for one day, like I did. But it was still incredibly fun!

The photos I’m about to post were mostly taken by one of friends, Leonor, who is a brilliant amateur photographer!

These photos are just a few moments of the time I spent there. It really was a lovely summer day, well enjoyed with great friends for company. I had a lot of fun and saw so many beautiful places, things and performances! And, of course, I even got to wear a flower crown, which I loved – it helped to capture that feeling of happily enjoying the nature surrounding us.

Oh, now I miss those summer days! 😉 Here’s to spring coming quickly!

Stay awesome,

Sofia

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