The Palio of the Crossbow – Gubbio
On Sunday May 30th, 2021, an athletic contest of crossbowmen with medieval costumes.
The Palio of the Crossbow is a traditional celebration that dates back to the Middle Ages, when crossbowmen had the task to protect the territory against possible invaders,
It takes place the last Sunday of May in Gubbio (Umbria), this year on Sunday, May 30th, 2021.
The ability to handle an instrument of such importance to protect the boundaries gave birth to “athletic” competition and challenges between the knights of that time.
It seems that Gubbio has been a very particular and famous town for this discipline because a document of 1461 tells that Madonna Battista Sforza went to assist the Palio of the crossbow in Gubbio.
Around 300 years later, on June 27th, 1729, the first “Charter for the good regulation of the crossbow’s game” was drafted.
Then the shooting gallery with the crossbow lost slowly interest because of the introduction of modern weapons and the civil races since these were the free time activities of that time, they became yearly events.
The Palio of the Crossbow nowadays represents a historical remembrance of the athletic competition and the Crossbowmen wear traditional customs.
The challenge consists of hitting the corniolo or tasso (that is the target) with an arrow threw with a crossbow at a distance of 36 m.
The Crossbowmen Society has his offices in the Bargello Palace in Gubbio where there is a permanent exhibition of a collection of historical crossbows, the awards received by the crossbowmen of Gubbio, historical customs, emblems and old weapons.
While the Palio of the Crossbow in Gubbio takes place every year on the last Sunday of May, the Palio continues on the second Sunday of September and ends with a crossbow contest in Sansepolcro with the Palio in Sansepolcro.
Photos: official site of the event and facebook page of Società dei Balestrieri di Gubbio