Obidos Castle: Walking through the Cobblestone Streets
There are so many lovely places you can visit in Portugal, that it becomes hard to choose from. But we know that Obidos is a destination you should not miss. This beautiful village is full of whitewashed buildings covered with colorful bougainvillea. Be sure that you’ll quickly love it as you slowly walk around the narrow streets.
Photo: Obidos Castle. Diego Delso. Adapted under license (CC BY-SA 4.0)
THE SEVEN WONDERS OF PORTUGAL
The Seven Wonders of Portugal (´As Sete Maravilhas de Portugal´ in Portuguese) is a list that contains the finest national monuments and cultural highlights in this country. Initially there were nearly 800 candidate monuments that the Ministry of Culture had to choose from. Choosing only 7 was very challenging, but here they are:
Photo: Obidos. Portugal.
12th century castles in Portugal
Portugal defined its borders in 12th century, which makes it one of the oldest nations from Europe. Actually, Lisbon is considered older than Rome by about four centuries. So, with so many years of history at its back, Portugal counts with some remarkable castles that were established to secure and expand its territory.
Pay close attention to the details around you, as there is so much charm here waiting to be discovered. You may find out that some of your favorite parts can be away from the main streets.
Photo: Obidos Castle from Portugal.
Óbidos is among the most picturesque and well-preserved medieval cities from Portugal
How far is Obidos from Lisbon?
Óbidos is a small medieval city at about 80 kilometers far from Lisbon (about 50 miles) and this makes it a perfect day trip from Lisbon. And since it´s close, you can combine this tour with other visits around the capital of Portugal.
Photo: Medieval Market of Óbidos.
What to see in Óbidos
Igreja de Santa Maria, the Misericórdia Church, the Aqueduct, the Church of São Pedro, and also the round-shaped Santuário do Senhor da Pedra, all these are just some of the best places you can stop by when you are in this city.
One of the things we recommend is to simply stroll its charming lanes and old streets.
You’ll pass by some colorful houses with flower boxes, walk by cobbled streets, and maybe hop in and out of shops and cafes.
Among the best places to see in Obidos you can find:
Photo: Obidos Castle.
Óbidos Castle is one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal
BEST PLACES TO SEE IN OBIDOS PORTUGAL
Óbidos is a UNESCO heritage site and also one of the 7 wonders of Portugal. This city hosts an annual chocolate festival, so it is filled with tourists and crowds almost every day.
Some decades ago, Óbidos was home for the Portuguese queens and this explains why there are so many churches around here. Nowadays it’s a popular tourist destination which is famous for its medieval market and for the ginjinha: a delicious sour cherry liqueur that is served in every bar in the city.
Among the favorites places to see in Obidos by tourists there are:
Aqueduto de Óbidos
The arches of the Óbidos Aqueduct create a simplistic form that cuts across the landscape. This aqueduct was built on the orders of Catherine of Austria, the queen in the 1570s. She sold other lands under her ownership nearby just to demonstrate how important this project was.
The aqueduct is 6 kilometers long and it stops within the walls of Óbidos. Moreover, the most important fact is that it continues to supply the public fountains from the city with fresh water to this day.
Igreja de Santa Maria
This Renaissance church is placed in the main square and lined with 17th-century tile panels and paintings made by the great local artist Josefa D’Óbidos.
Photo: Cobblestone Streets in Obidos.
Igreja de São Pedro
Josefa D’Óbidos was buried in this church dating from the 13th-century in Obidos and that has an amazing gold-covered font as well.
Igreja da Misericórdia
This church dating from 1498 is now home for various cultural events and an exhibition place for the local art. The building is next to one of the most curious medieval buildings in town, which was once a private residence and a synagogue.
A lot of Josefa D’Óbidos’ paintings are situated in this museum, along with some works dating from the 15th century onwards. The Municipal Museum placed in Óbidos also shows memories of the war that took place against Napoleon and that he has suffered an important defeat near this city.
Óbidos’ central street, Rua Direita, has a few fascinating architectural and decorative details. The best buys you can do here are ceramics, embroideries, wine, and some bottles of ginja.
Besides, in Rua Direita you can see Mercado Biológico, which is a blend between a bookstore and an organic market. Here is the Livraria da Adega which occupies a former wine cellar. The wine boxes here were turned into bookshelves, and there’s a small bar in the corner of the library serving a selection of Portuguese wines.
Photo: Rua Direita.
In 2015 Obidos was declared UNESCO Creative City Of Literature
OBIDOS CASTLE FROM PORTUGAL
The most important attraction of Obidos is Castelo de Óbidos, a very well-preserved medieval castle. Its towers can be seen from nearly everywhere around, and its interior has been changed to a Pousada hotel, which is definitely worth checking out. Its garden, the terrace, and the walls are free and open to the public.
This Moorish castle has been redesigned in the 12th century and it is one of the few castles from that time that haven’t become a ruin. It’s now a very romantic hotel, and the village around it is one of Europe’s prettiest and best-preserved destinations which attracts thousands of visitors.
The castle is so imposing that it makes you feel like the medieval era has come back to life. And sometimes it does because there is a medieval festival taking place in this village.
Everyone who comes to Obidos wants to see the castle
Cobblestone Streets in Obidos
Obidos is a walkable town, so you need to wear comfortable shoes because you are about to deal with some cobblestone streets.
The historical center is full of tiny streets and whitewash houses. You´ll probably discover that the main streets are for tourists and souvenir shops, but if you find your way through the backstreets, you´ll discover why Obidos is known as a village ‘lost in time’.
Check out the side streets for tiny bars and restaurants and leave the main streets for the tourists and this way you will encounter the magic of this place.
In Obidos every corner looks like a postcard
Photo: Medieval Market of Óbidos.
OBIDOS INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL
This delicious event from Obidos is one of the favorites for an obvious reason! The first of its kind in Portugal, with some incredible showcases of pâtissier chefs, the bonbon competitions, the chocolate statues, and of course a bunch of gastronomical delights and experiences are the main attraction here on the last weekend of March and the first one of April. This festival is not to be missed!
ÓBIDOS – PORTUGAL´S MEDIEVAL WONDER NOT FAR FROM LISBON
With its delightful puzzle of whitewashed streets, along with the stunning views from its castle walls, and the city´s exciting collection of festivals, we could definitely say that the best things to do in Óbidos are meant to delight.
In other words, visiting Óbidos is an experience that is fit for everyone.