Monday, 3 October 2016

Venasque Medieval Re-Enactors

I'm back from a holiday in Provence, and during my week in the south of France I was taken out for the day to a Medieval Faire in Venasque.

Troops strutting their stuff.

My French wasn't good enough to follow the presenters spiel, but the demonstration was understandable.

The authenticity wasn't always 100% pucker, and there were Orcs in amongst the re-enactors, but all the same people went to a lot of trouble to dress up, which is what counts.

One of the Orcs.

These people we thought were meant to be lepers, but were Cagot, which we read more about in a newspaper about French news written in English.  For those who are interested in reading more Elizabeth Gaskell wrote a book called An Accursed Race, which can be downloaded here.

There were people dressed as lepers with bells on them, which is how we knew they were meant to be lepers, but I failed to snap a picture of them.

And there was archery demonstration, and how could we resist having a go?  Susan shooting, and getting a bruise on her arm for her trouble.

And no I didn't get a bruise on my arm, but there again I shoot modern recurve bare bow, whereas Susan shoots longbow, which requires a different technique.  Late edition update, a picture Susan took of me shooting.

And finally, there was a cute dragon the kids could ride on.

So a fun day.


  1. Thanks for this great post - the photos confirm my belief that Europeans do Medieval Faires better than North Americans do, though the orcs are a bit jarring. The lady in the big blouse and her troubadour friend obviously took a wrong turn at the 16th century.

  2. I normally shoot with a bracer on my arm, a small detail that I forgot. The impressive bruise lasted all week!

    1. It's now mostly faded, but was a delicate yellow and purple colour at one point.

  3. It started off well, then went rapidly downhill. Orcs, rally? Medieval trainers?

    1. You're obviously not a fan of the film A Knight's Tale. ;-)

    2. Oh no and my Mrs just goes to sleep through it. Happened twice. I used to be a re enactor, this kind of thing really annoys me. Hollywood history at its worst and in some cases no history at all.

  4. Looks great, a wonderful place indeed!

    1. It was, and we had lunch there too. French do know how to make a nice meal.

  5. "The bruise points towards the person whose fault it is", as I heard an old archer say once while showing off his own conic-section bruise.

    I see that sort of riding-drake as a job for tired old dragons to do when they can't be bothered to chase down knights any more. Ignore the occasional snap-gronf-swoffle sound.


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