Medieval Market in La Nucía – 10, 11 and 12 July
So it is back to the olden days on 10, 11 and 12 July, days in which the streets of the old town centre of La Nucía are draped with flags, lined with stalls selling the luxury goods of those days and a varied procession will pass of mountebanks, jugglers, minstrels and other people hoping to amuse the motley throng that will come to gawp. What started, ten years ago, as a commemorative event to celebrate the 300th birthday of La Nucía has now become an annual show not to be missed. Nice people, pretty baubles and tasty food – a goodly combination.
Amata, the regional craft association that organises the Market, tries to bring something different each year. This year there will be two groups of musicians, one of which will provide the dulcet tones to which an oriental lady will swirl as she makes her way along the narrow streets. She also is an expert in the whirling dances of the sufis. People on stilts, nobles and beggars, fools and cripples will pass through the crowd. Of course there is a juggler, and of course he does a fire show at night – what do you expect?
The seventy stalls which line the streets will display an extremely varied assortment of cunningly crafted goods – everything on the stalls is made by the people on the stall and often you can even watch them make new to replace what they sold the day before. Nothing is imported, nothing comes from small factories or is made by friends or family elsewhere – that is the Amata philosophy and they are pretty strict. The stalls will show original leather handbags and belts, wooden toys and puppets, hand-painted tiles and ceramic ware, paintings and of course a lot of original jewellery in silver, glass, ceramics, enamel, copper and macramé. You can watch a smith, two bookbinders, a stone cutter and a wood carver at work, and two potters threaten to bring along their wheel to allow people to transform a lump of clay into a small vase or bowl. For a small extra fee they will provide water to wash your hands afterwards.
When comes the time to rest the eye and feed the stomach, the visitor can choose between various taverns with beer, wine and roasted meat, a pulperia with juicy bits of octopus or an Arabic tea tent with mint-flavoured tea and eastern pastry. Other stalls offer cheese direct from the farm, or sausages and hams, preserves and jams, fig cakes and honey – all made to original recipes. For the children there is an old-fashioned merry-go-round and various medieval table games (leave your GamePlayer at home), and a comely lady telling stories (in Spanish only, but she is nice to watch even if you don’t understand all of it).
As you enter La Nucía village, watch out for the signs directing you to the Mercado Medieval. There is plenty of room to park in what used to be the Sunday morning market in days gone by and there’s a wash house in which you can cool your hot feet. The Market opens at 6 pm and continues till at least midnight and perhaps later if there’s lots of folk around.
For more information ring 639 979 678 (Elvira speaks quite good English) and you can look at the photographs of last year’s market on http://www.amata.es/LaNucia14.html .