The birthplace of Portugal is usually associated with the city of Guimarães, though some claim that the conspiracy against D. Teresa mother of Alphonso Henriques of Portugal took place in the city of Santa Maria da Feira.
Feira’s Castle was built over a roman fortress, and through times was expended. This castle in particular has square shapes unlike most Portuguese castles which feature cylindric shapes, a fortress design attributed to the Knights Templar, which in many ways were always supporters of the Kingdom of Portugal and responsible to aid our Kingdom in the ‘Reconquista’ (Reconquest) since the establishment of the Portuguese Kingdom, though the fight on the moors started far earlier in since the 8th century.
In the 29th of August starts the 1 week event known as ‘Viagem Medieval in Terras de Santa Maria da Feira’. I’ve attended the second event being invited by the city hall, as back then my employer was developing a GNU/Linux based Kiosk to deploy on the city providing interactive information. Back then when we made this project we used Red Hat 6.0 and a large part of the system was hacked, including a ‘special’ runlevel creation and some minor wizardry on the boot process to make it smoother. This kiosk was update daily through a PPP interface from my employers public network.
During this week, everyone dresses in a medieval way and there’s lots of events which feature the days of centuries ago, the times when being Portuguese had a meaning to people.
From Sword Tournaments, to Jousts and even an Assault to the Castle, there’s plenty of fun for everyone… including a medieval market and it’s actually a good time to get some cool medieval replicas of swords, maces, shields and everything else… even chainmails ;)
Feel free to visit Santa Maria da Feira (Saint Mary of the Market), one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal with awesome night life and a very warm population!
And don’t ignore the beautiful Castle of Saint Mary of Feira… which holds a small Museum with many interesting stuff from cannon balls to arrow tips, spears and everything related to war during the Dark Ages. Most of the items in display have been found in excavations in the surroundings of the Castle and some date back to the 10th Century.
Official Website: http://www.viagemmedieval.com
City Hall: http://www.cm-feira.pt