Last update: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - Comments (0)
San Quirico d'Orcia celebrates the Festival of Barbarossa on the third Sunday of June.
The festival celebrates the visit and brief residence of Federico the First, known as Barbarossa (the Red Beard) to San Quirico in 1155. Barbarossa came to San Quirico for a meeting with the ambassadors of Pope Hadrian IV. He hoped to gain from them the Pope's approval for his coronation of Emperor. The meeting between Barbarossa and the Papal ambassadors was interrupted by Arnaldo of Brescia, a monk accused of heresy for questioning the authority of Pope Hadrian. Barbarossa offered the head of Arnaldo to the ambassadors in exchange for the Pope's blessing and approval of his ambitions.
Members of each of San Quirico's quartiere dress in exquisitely constructed mediaeval costumes to commemorate this historic meeting.
The Festa continues throughout the entire day, after beginning in the central piazza where a costumed Consul reads a proclamation announcing Barbarossa's meeting, and then reads the results of a drawing which establishes the order of the participants in the long bow and flag tossing competitions.
The four contrade of San Quirico then celebrate with a flag waving and tossing demonstration.
The meeting between Barbarossa and the Papal ambassadors is recreated in the sandstone courtyard of the Collegiata Church. This is followed by a procession of page boys, ladies and lords, cavaliers on horseback and local gentry dressed in costumes. The procession then finds its way to the upper part of the Horti Leonini for the long bow and flag tossing competitions.
Comune San Quirico d'Orcia
Piazza Chigi, 2
52027 San Quirico d'Orcia