Hundreds of Portuguese and foreign figurants participate in the “Recriação Histórica do Cerco de Almeida” (Historical Reenactment of the Siege of Almeida).
A wide variety of activities takes place in Almeida during the 3 days of the event. There are scientific, historical and cultural activities. The main ones are the historical reenactments and the “Mercado Oitocentista” (19th Century Market).
The night battle is the most expected moment. This reenactment occurs on Saturday, usually at 23 o’clock and it recreates a tragic episode – the explosion of the castle of Almeida.
On 26th August 1810, Almeida was under siege by the Napoleon French troops. It was their 3rd attempt to invade Portugal. They had been firing artillery grenades all day when, by chance, one of them ignited a gunpowder trail that caused a chain explosion that destroyed the castle and most of the town, damaged the fortress and killed about 500 men.
Without ammunitions, the Portuguese troops couldn’t resist for too long.
Two days later, on 28th August, the garrison left the fortress.
On 29 August 2015, a very hot Saturday, my brother, my cousin JP, JB and I went by car to Almeida to attend the Historical Reenactment of the Siege of Almeida.
We arrived there at about 14 o’clock. At that time it was very quiet, but as the hours passed, more and more people gathered inside the fortress.
We visited the “acampamento histórico” (historical camp) and the 19th Century Market. We looked for something to eat and drink at the several food stalls. There were so many optios! Soup, Madeira island food, chorizo bread, crepes, the sweet “Tripas de Aveiro” (Tripe of Aveiro)…
I was amazed with the pedal carousel that was installed there. I had never seen one before. Very nice and ecological!
Later, we spent some time watching an illusionist and some historical fencing performances.
I enjoyed everything, but I must agree, the best moment was the night battle. It was fantastic!
Do you want more details? Go, see and feel for yourself.