Mornas Medieval Festival
The village of Mornas has an annual Medieval Festival, in the setting of this ancient village and its very Medieval Fortress. Events take place all day long, but at scheduled times and with a clear program, so you can enjoy everything that interests you, and have a nice lunch at one of the many terrace café-restaurants. The Mornas Festival is free: for general entry and all the events, including Knights combats and jousting. Even the Fortress at the top of the hill has free entry on Festival day, with its own Medieval costumed enactors.
We found the stands to be very moderately priced, with bottled water and fruit juice, for example, and 1 euro. Café-restaurant noon meals are under 20 euros, service is good and the overall atmosphere is fun and friendly.
The Knights combat grounds are at the area of the 11th-century chapel, half way up the hill towards the Fortress. Two different types of events took place during the day: the Knights Combats (Combats de Chevaliers) and the Knights Jousting (Joutes Equestres).
We watched the Knights Combats, a succession of pairs of Knights in one-on-one combat, with the weapons of their choosing. The armored and padded Medieval Knights fought, battling sword versus sword, or sword versus ax, until one dropped and and was pinned. Since they were wearing around 40 kg of armor and padding, and were fighting on a sunny hillside in 40-plus degree (Celsius) temperature, when one Knight was knocked to the ground he often couldn't rise again.
The fighters were well trained, strong and courageous. And they were really fighting, un-choreographed but according to their rules, until one Knight was victorious.
The jousting is typical Medieval jousting, horseback knights thundering towards each other with pointed lances, attempting to unhorse their opponent. It was a time of a pretty-much nation-wide heatwave, and over 40 degrees, so we didn't stay all day and we missed the jousting. But, we'll catch it next year for sure.