Some 300 people divided into two camps – Moors and Christians – re-enacted the Battle of Navas de Tolosa, in Carolina, Jaen province, on Monday.
The “warriors” were mainly from Spain, but some also came from France, Portugal and the UK to take part in the battle waged on July 16th, 1212, considered decisive in the expulsion of the Moors from Spain because it opened up the way for the re-conquest of Andalucia.
“We’re going to lose, but that’s life”, said Agrimiro Saiz, president of the Cultural Association of Medieval History in Cuenca, who was playing the part of a Moorish general. He has been participating in similar re-enactments in different parts of the country for years but said he had never seen so many people turn up for such an event. “It jut goes to show how important the battle was for Spain,” Saiz said.
All the residents of Navas de Tolosa turned out for the event, along with thousands of visitors from the rest of Spain, mainly Castilla-Leon, Aragón and Navarre, where the first major victories against the Moors were won. Smaller re-enactments take place all over Spain every summer, mostly on beaches.
The politically correct contingent want such battles banned in this multi-cultural age but the Spanish are unlikely to give up an age-old celebration that is more good fun than an attempt to annoy the North Africans living in Spain today.