On the second weekend of September, the town of Pontevedra step back in time into the medieval period. The Feira Franca is considered one of the most important historical festivals in As Rías Baixas. Moreover, in 2013, it was declared a Festival of Tourist Interest in Galicia. This celebration commemorates an important event that took place in 1467, when King Henry IV granted the locals the privilege to establish a tax-free market for a month.
Over two days, the town of Pontevedra is fully immersed in the medieval period. Master artisans, blacksmiths, carpenters, female net-makers, bobbin lace makers or musicians take to the most emblematic streets and squares of the town of the Lérez River. Both locals and visitors are fully involved in the event, preparing their period costumes and organising medieval feasts long before the event, which is rounded off with a varied programme of activities.
Live street performances and recreations of how life was in the medieval period, such as the transportation of wine, the work of the different trades, hunting demonstrations, sports or dances, are some of the endless possibilities visitors can enjoy. The festival also offers activities for children, including medieval games, storytelling, and other traditional attractions.
Tournament, recreation of wine transportation and much more
The Feira Franca includes many entertainment activities full of history that will take place at the Montero Ríos Avenue, such as a the recreation of wine transportation, a tournament, demonstrations of falconry and archery, concerts of medieval music, parades, dances and fencing, the latter also with demonstrations in other squares such as the Praza da Ferrería or Praza da Verdura. The streets and squares of the town, beautifully adorned with flags, coats of arms and other motifs, are filled with thousands of people dressed in period costumes, who become the true stars of the medieval event.
The recreation of wine transportation is one of the main attractions. This parade marches along the streets Rúa de Santa Clara, Rúa Sarmiento, Rúa Pasantería to end at the squares Praza da Ferrería and Praza da Peregrina. One of the most awaited performances is the tournament, an event suitable for all audiences that can be enjoyed with the family and friends alike.
Activities intended for children and a local medieval market
Different activities intended for children will be held throughout the old town, and the medieval legends will fill in the atmosphere of almost every corner of the old quarter. There are medieval attractions and a medieval camp at the Praza de España, the main square of the town. Fun is guaranteed!
The medieval market have a large number of food stalls scattered throughout many corners of the city, at the street Rúa Pasantería, at the Alameda Park, at the arcades of the square Praza da Ferrería, and at the square Praza de Curros Enríquez. There also is a craft market at the avenue Avenida de Santa María. Moreover, a demonstration on the work of the different medieval trades will be held at the squares Praza da Ferrería and Praza Peirao. There, visitors will learn about the main occupations of women at that time -linen weavers, net-makers and bobbin lace makers- and those of men -carpenters, blacksmiths, stonemasons and leather workers-, among others.