The Palio of the Crossbow – Gubbio
On Sunday May 26th, an athletic contest of crossbowmen with medieval costumes.
The Palio of the Crossbow, a traditional celebration that dates back to the Middle Ages, when crossbowmen had the task to protect the territory against possible invaders, takes place in Gubbio (Umbria) on Sunday, May 26, 2019.
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, in June 27 1729, the first “Charter for the good regulation of the crossbow’s game” was drafted.
Then the shooting gallery with the crossbow lost slowy interest because of the introduction of modern weapons and the civil races, since these were the free time activities of that time, they bacame yearly events.
The Palio of the Crossbow nowadays represent a historical remembrance of the athletic competition and the Crossbowmen wear traditional customs.
The challenge consists in hitting the corniolo or tasso (that is the target) with an arrow threw with a crossbow at a distance of 36 mts.
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.
The Palio of the Crossbow in Gubbio takes place every year on tha last Sunday of May, while in the second Sunday of September the Palio continues and ends with a 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