The Capdepera Medieval Fair
Have you heard of the Capdepera Medieval Fair? Today, straight from the Hotel Rural Predi Son Jaumell, we’ll tell you all about this special event that took place last weekend.
With May’s arrival, the number of fairs and local markets increases in Mallorca, ready for everyone out to enjoy the warmer weather. And that’s exactly when one of the island’s best known and spectacular fairs took place, on the last 13th, 14th, and 15th of May. We’re talking about the Capdepera Medieval Fair.
The Castle of Capdepera, a walled fortress from the fourteenth century, crowns the little village of the same name. The imposing castle imparts to the little town the flavour of more feudal times from Mallorca’s past. The castle further heightens the atmosphere of the fair; you’ll feel like a real medieval villager as you stroll through the narrow, cobbled streets around the castle.
The fair has been held in Capdepera since 2000. The first fair’s great reception, which was held as part of the events commemorating the 700th anniversary of Capdepera’s founding, has continued right until today.
To understand the origins of the Capdepera Medieval Fair, we need to go back in time more than 700 years. It was in the year 1300 A.D. when King Jaume II enacted “Les Ordinacions”. The main objective of these royal regulations was to group Mallorca’s scattered population together. To that end, he ordered the construction of 12 villages throughout Mallorcan territory.
One of the locations chosen was near the “Cap de Pedra”, at the eastern end of the island. This was the origin of the name Capdepera, a village where a large stone wall was erected to protect the village against possible invaders.
However, the villagers were reluctant to leave their old houses and move inside Capdepera’s walls. This hindered the king’s objective of keeping the people safe within the city. Because of this, Jaume II decided to resort to economic means to motivate the locals to move inside the walled city. With this incentive, the nearby residents quickly moved, and within a short time a total of 150 houses inside the town were inhabited. The residents were protected from bandits and pirates thanks to the wall of Capdepera.
A people united by a cause
The Gabellins, a nickname given to the inhabitants of Capdepera, are known for being committed and willing to get involved. That’s part of the success of this fair.
For example, it’s traditional for the children to be responsible for making the banners of various feudal houses. Once they’re finished, these colourful banners are placed on roofs all along the streets where the market is held. In addition, the villagers paint wooden shields and bucklers with their family’s crest. Then they display these in windows and balconies. It’s not unusual to see an elderly weaver dressed in traditional costume, sitting patiently weaving in front of her house.
All of this activity makes the Capdepera Medieval Fair a unique and faithful representation of a bygone era. You’ll be amazed and will love discovering each and every special part of the fair!
The Capdepera Medieval Fair: a unique experience
The closer you get to the castle, the greater the desire to eat or drink at one of its characteristic stalls, or try some of the handmade products. The smell of hay and incense, the brightly coloured shields hanging everywhere, and the sounds of medieval instruments, or xeremiers, all stimulating the senses.
In many of the streets, you’ll find improvised concerts with instruments such as the flabiol or tambori. You’ll also enjoy street plays where you’ll hear medieval accents from the Mallorca of long ago. You’ll also see jesters playing pranks, dancers performing medieval dances, and even exhibitions of real medieval weapons that have been well-preserved through time. In addition, sights such as roving stilt walkers and fireworks can be enjoyed by young and old.
This is a unique opportunity to participate in one of the most delightful medieval markets around. Don’t miss out, since this market is only held once a year. It promotes the rich historical and cultural heritage of Mallorca. Are you keen to take this trip back in time by visiting the Capdepera Medieval Fair next year?