Spain, Russia and France At War... In Medieval Re-enactment

The grounds of a Spanish castle became the site of a tournament modelled on medieval combat between knights in full armour.

With Belmonte Castle in Cuenca towering over the combatants, the National Medieval Combat Tournament saw teams from Russia and France join the event.

Medieval combat is based on fighting tournaments held 500 years ago during the medieval period.

Belmonte Castle is the backdrop of the national tournament. Photo: Associated Press

The modern version of the sport was created in Europe a little over twenty years ago and is now spreading rapidly throughout the rest of the world.

The National Medieval Combat Tournament itself has been running for four years.

Juanma Ruiz is a 35-year-old Sevilla-based team member who believes the adrenaline rush is the best thing about the sport.

"It is a historical thing, very visual. Once you start with this sport, you will never leave it," he said.

Attention to detail creates an authentic medieval look. Photo: Associated Press

The sport consists of fights between two sides, be they duels or melees, but always under official regulations regarding equipment and technique.

Samantha Chapman is a 28-year-old member of an all-female team.

"[The sport] pushes you to your limits and when you reach your limits you want to overcome yourself, to go further," she said.

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There is a very strict disciplinary code to safeguard the safety of the participants.

The host site of the tournament, Belmonte Castle, located southwest of the Even province of Cuenca, was declared a historic monument within the National Artistic Treasury by decree in 1931 and is now a Bien de Interés Cultural.

Belmonte Castle is the backdrop of the national tournament. Photo: Associated Press

In 2020 Belmonte Castle will host the Medieval Combat World Championship for the second time after an agreement was reached between the management of the Castle and the International Medieval Combat Federation (IMCF).