Óbidos is a town of around 3,100
inhabitants, is located on a hill and is still encircled by a fortified
wall. The well-preserved mediaeval look of its streets, squares, walls and its
massive castle have turned the picturesque village into a preferred tourist
attraction in Portugal. ( and was a must for us to visit as it is in the 1000
The southern town gate to Rua Dieita filled with small shops, me under the
beautiful bougainvillaea in the most amazing colour.
The name "Óbidos" probably derives from the Latin term oppidum, meaning
"citadel", or "fortified city". The wall is in incredible condition for its
age. There is no "health and safety" when it comes to walking the ramparts, Bear
was not very happy when people were coming the other way, he kept to the inner
and let the passers-by do the outer. Funnily enough body space meant nothing,
people came very close in fact cuddled up on passing. An allotment in the centre
After the fall of Roman domination, the region must have come
under the influence of the Visigoths, although material evidence is lacking. The
Roman town of Eburobrittium was probably abandoned in the 5th century for the
more secure hill where Óbidos is located. Sometime after 713 the Moors
established a fortification on top of the hill. A Christian community of
Mozarabs lived in the Moncharro neighbourhood.The area was taken from the Moors
by the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, in 1148. Tradition states that
one knight, Gonçalo Mendes da Maia, was responsible for the successful storming
of the Moorish castle. The retaking of Óbidos meant the end of the Reconquista
of the Estremadura region, after the conquests of Santarem, Lisbon and Torres
Vedras. The village received its first foral (charter) in 1195, under the reign
of Sancho I.
Bear by this pretty little cottage. Waiting for lunch I wrote some blog
notes. The food was exquisite and the first time we have seen "green wine",
meaning young. Behind Bear is a bridge to the other side and tables.
In 1210, King Afonso II donated the village to his wife, Queen Urraca. Since
then Óbidos has often belonged to the Queens of Portugal, giving rise to its
informal title as Vila das Rainhas (Queens' village). Several Queens
enriched the village with donations from the Middle Ages until the 16th
Santa Maria Church of Óbidos was the setting for the wedding of King
Afonso V with his cousin, Princess Isabel, on August 15th, 1441, when they were
both still children of 10 and 8. Bear by the pillory and pots.
The town has a magnificent castle, now hosting a pousada or inn with 14
rooms. The tiles seen here are 18th century, same view from above. Not many cars
wiggle in and out of here.
The castle of Óbidos and the walls of the village were remodelled under King
Dinis I The village was also enlarged around this time, with settlements created
outside the walls. The massive keep of the castle is attributed to a building
campaign sponsored by Fernando I (late 14th century).
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this unique little