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The Hospitallers on the Road to Santiago

From September 7 to 11, at the Monastery of Leça do Balio. See the program.


"Os Hospitalários no Caminho de Santiago" are back! From September 7 to 11, the area around the Leça do Balio Monastery will once again become the setting for one of the most important historical recreations in the country.

In the 12th century, the Monastery of Leça do Balio became the first headquarters of the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem of the Hospital, therefore known as "hospitalists".

The place played an important role in assisting the pilgrims who demanded the tomb of the apostle Santiago in Compostela, providing spiritual and medical assistance. Afonso Henriques and Sancho I passed through there on their way to Compostela, as did Queen Santa Mafalda or D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, the Holy Constable.

The most anticipated moment in this historical recreation will be on September 11th, a day when the site is expected to fill up. At 4:30 pm, the royal wedding between D. Fernando and D. Leonor Teles will be recreated.

This year, actor António Camelier, known for his role in the series "Red Moon" and more recently for his participation in the soap operas "The Saw" and "Honeymoon", will play the role of D. Fernando, while D. Leonor will be played by dancer and choreographer Vanda Gameiro, known for her great shows and for her participation in the program "Dancing with the Stars".

Celebrated in 1372, this royal wedding is one of the most remarkable episodes of the Portuguese monarchy, as it was involved in much controversy. It was the only royal wedding to be celebrated outside the capital. Against everyone's wishes, D. Fernando marries D. Leonor Teles, making her queen of Portugal.

The ceremony takes place at the Monastery of Leça do Balio, under protests from the people, violently repressed by the king, giving rise to the events that, years later, triggered the political crisis of 1383-1385.

Every year, the Matosinhos City Hall invites two public figures to participate in this event and "dress the skin" of these two important historical personalities.

But there is much more to see at the Medieval Fair in Leça do Balio. Besides the taverns that serve snacks and drinks, and the conventual confectionary stalls, visitors have the opportunity to watch the work performed live by various craftsmen, interact with the various characters of the time, such as jugglers, acrobats, jugglers, knights, merchants, snake charmers, and watch several recreations of legends.

The event also offers entertainment, music and dance, guided heritage tours, horseback tournaments, weapons and bird training, workshops for the youngsters, among many other activities.

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