Tendilla is a tiny village in the area of Guadalajara, Spain. It was declared a town – by Medieval standards at least in 1394. About a century later, the County of Tendilla was founded. By that time, the local cattle fair, around the festivity of St. Matthew, was considered one of the best in the Kingdom of Castile, with the Catholic Monarchs bestowing their blessings on the town. Among the most interesting areas are the long covered arcades, and the unfinished church dating back from the 16th century, Iglesia de la Asunción.
The cattle fair was rekindled in the 1990s, and today it is called Feria de Mercaderías de San Matías. The closest weekend to the 24th of February, St. Matthew’s day, a Medieval market is laid along Main Street, with edibles, trinkets and artisan items. The village becomes decorated with flags, pennons showing off real and assumed heraldry items.
This year, I decided to get there as some family members were going to be in the house they own in the village. I arrived at around 10 am, and by that time most the village was already full. I got deviated, but it was not hard to find a parking spot. Unfortunately the weather had not decided to accompany and it was rainy and freezing all day.
The fair stalls had begun to open, but first we made a run for the local grocery stores to grab some ingredients for lunch. The typical thing to eat in this time are migas, which are basically fried breadcrumbs with paprika, pork, garlic and a fried egg on top. We also bought sweets and confectioneries, just because we could.
At noon, we walked along Main Street Calle Mayor. The stalls were already open, and even in the bad weather there were quite a few people. Some were even in costume, dressed in Medieval outfits, as dames, knights or noblemen.
To the end of the village, a small “farm” had been installed – oxen, horses, cows, goats, donkies, sheep, rabbits, piglets… Due to the ‘health situation’ which for once was not Covid but avian flu, there were no ducks or hens or any kind of bird. You could hold the bunnies, but I really really wanted to hug the huge draft horses.
Someone had not really thought positioning carefully though, and right in front of the farm – and the piglets – stood the food stalls, especially a roaster, whose cooked pork was… suspiciously similar to the piglets in the farm *coughs*.
On the other side of the farm, the locals had started preparing the communal migas – every visitor is entitled to a plate of them, but it was way too cold to queue. Instead of being topped with an egg, though, they are sprinkled with torreznos, pork lard fried and preserved.
On our way back we ran into the horse parade and show, which was held in front of the town hall. The riders of El Duque Espectáulos, dressed in Medieval and Templar costumes, trotted and galloped along the music.
We stopped to buy some torreznos to take home, and we got given the tourist treat – a cloth bag with a huge box of fried pork skin. It is tastier than it sounds, honest!
We had lunch at home, and not to show off, but I do think our breadcrumbs looked much better. We made them ourselves, with chorizo meat and eggs sunny side up! They looked so much better than the communal ones, right?!
Finally, after lunch, we took another stroll, but the weather was miserable, raining and cold – which was so mean because the following day when I had to work it was nice and sunny, and there was a bird of prey exhibit.
But all in all I spent a nice time with family and got to pat horses and goats. I guess there are much worse ways to spend a Saturday.
Walked distance: 6.20 km (9866 steps)