Competition is fierce, but perhaps it can be said without much fear of error that there are more and greater misunderstandings, often intentional ones, about the Middle Ages than in any other period of Western History. Uncertainties, multiplied infinitely by misleading representations conveyed through film and television, are responsible for the existence of a vague collective imagination of the medieval that while not very reliable is extraordinarily rich in imaginative possibilities surrounding a series of archetypes of the era that marked European identity decisively one way or another.
Of these one of the most popular is that of the troubadours, which is the theme and name of a lively medieval tavern in Lisbon that is conveniently located in the center of the old city, at number 27 on the street of São Julião, quite close to the cathedral.
Next to the name, Trobadores, the tavern is inscribed with a date, 1147, referring to the year that King Alfonso, after a siege of three months, was able to conquer the city with the help of Crusaders from northern Europe that had up until then been in Muslim hands. This event was the cause of a mass celebration and the consumption of popular beverages of the era such as mead, which is made by fermenting a solution of honey and water, and homemade beer drunk Viking style in large horns, thus demonstrating once again the fertile syncretism that constitutes our vision of reality and the past.
Reality is, of course, more complex but between these crusader conquerors of Lisbon it is not impossible to find descendants of William of Aquitaine (1071-1127), the first of the troubadours and grandfather of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the then queen of France and best promoter of the troubadours, romance and courtly love at the time. As a result, not only new literary and musical forms swept over Europe, and a new spirituality outside the influence of the Arabic Sufi poetry, but also a new vision of women, one where they must also submit to the propagation of devotion to the Virgin Mary inherent in the Gothic.
Not surprisingly perhaps his grandfather William had learned to sing as a child by listening to quiyan, women singers of Islamic culture who continue the tradition of the ancient Gades dancers who his father had brought with him to Aquitaine after a brief campaign Barbastro in 1064.
It is this extraordinary melting pot which between drinks, a variety of toasts, baked sausage and folk music with a mostly Celtic strain, that the Tavern Trobadores seems to aspire to recreate, even if unconsciously.
In addition to the live concerts and good atmosphere, this tavern also holds jam sessions open to anyone. If you want to take a step back into history, don´t miss the opportunity to visit when you rent accommodation in Lisbon .
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