Sunday, 30 October 2011


The battle of Arroyomolinos was fought on October 28th 1811 on a stormy morning with torrential rain lashing the battlefield. The scene on the 200 year anniversary could not be more different, the Sierra de Montanchez was basking in warm sunshine and the re-enactment turned into a great fiesta with the bars spilling out onto the street, great fun to mingle with the local people transformed in their uniforms and costumes, some of great imagination. The day started at 11.00 in the main plaza, everyone assembled and then it was off to the battlefield just ourside the village. The numbers involved were of course just token, the actual battle involved more than 8,000 troops and 1,500 horses.. However, it was a very good effort and most effectively organized.
Assembly of the cast in the plaza before the battle

A guerilla converses with French troops....rather than slitting their throats

The "actors" were all local people with just as many women as men involved, some rather voluptuous troops indeed. The civilian population were well represented with some really imaginative costumes. The guerilla element hardly had to dress up as their costume is very similar to the present day fiesta garb worn at horse riding competitions in our area. It seemed the cast of Carmen had suddenly taken over the village, very colourful.  The cannons were only too real with deafening reports and lots of smoke.  My favourites were the hussars who looked incredibly dashing  with really show-off plumes in their shakos galloping at full tilt, not exactly a cavalry charge but still looked pretty good. Well done Arroyomolinos, I think they should do it every year and if they do I might be tempted to contrive a suitable costume, a somewhat ageing camp follower perhaps.
French troops

1 comment:

Penny Clements said...

Looks fun - wish we had been there for it as it is one of the reasons Napoleon is called Napoleon!


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