surinenglish

Yunquera commemorates Peninsular War battle

One of the re-enactments called 'La taberna'.
One of the re-enactments called 'La taberna'. / Fernando Torres
  • The sixth edition of Yunquera Guerrillera included re-enactments of the battle against and consequent life under Napoleon

More than 300 people in the town of Yunquera took part in the sixth edition of the 'Yunquera Guerrillera', a three-day event that commemorates the battle that took place in the municipality during the Peninsular War as Napoleon attempted to enlarge his empire.

Spain and France began the war in 1808 as allies when they invaded Portugal together, but a year later Napoleon turned on the Spanish in a war that greatly drained French resources and increased national fervour in the Iberian Peninsula.

On Friday and the weekend people dressed up in clothes of the time and participated in theatre performances and re-enactments of the battle in the early 1800s between Napoleon's forces and residents of Yunquera who attempted to defend their homes from the invaders.

Performers also demonstrated consequent life in the town under French control in the War of Independence, by highlighting how Napoleon changed life in the peaceful town through tyranny and forced members from very different towns to live together.

Resistance such as this against Napoleon's occupation was prominent in several towns at the time, and was the cornerstone of the Spanish Constitution of 1812, which completely repudiated the Bayonne Constitution issued in 1808 by Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's older brother.

A food market, various parades and thematic walks were also part of the weekend's programme.