According to best-medical-schools.com, Obidos is one of the oldest cities in Portugal, it was founded by the Celtic tribes. During the Roman Empire, it was even one of the most important ports in the region, later the Visigothic tribes and Arabs ruled here. And only in the 12th century, King Alfonso Enriques once and for all established Spanish rule here. This could not but be reflected in the architectural appearance of the city, which absorbed all the best from these completely different cultures.
Flowers, fruit trees, white villas, paved paths, quiet streets – all this looks like scenery from a kind children’s fairy tale.
Probably nowhere else can you find such a cozy and elegant town. Flowers, fruit trees, white villas, paved paths, quiet streets – all this looks like scenery from a kind children’s fairy tale. Perhaps that is why it was chosen as a place where almost the youngest hearts were connected by legal marriage – the ten-year-old heir to the Spanish throne, Alphonse V, and his cousin, who was even younger.
Two centuries earlier, Obidos was the best gift for the newly-made Spanish Queen Isabella, presented to her by her husband, King Denish, on her wedding day. Since then, such a gift has been part of the royal wedding ceremony for many centuries, and Obidos has become the city of weddings, and the place where newlyweds from all over the globe prefer to spend their honeymoon.
The main drink that you should definitely try while here is Jinja, a sweet liquor made from the berries of the same name. It is served again in chocolate glasses along with whole berries that taste like cherries. It is served in any of the many restaurants or cafes, many of which are stylized “antique”.
Entertainment and attractions in Obidos
The city has a huge number of ancient cathedrals with magnificent chapels. The most popular from a tourist point of view is the Cathedral of Santa Maria, where an unusual “children’s” wedding once took place. And the oldest and still operating in Obidos is the Cathedral of St. James, built at the beginning of the 12th century. Not far from it is the Church of St. John the Baptist, which attracts tourists with an unusually elegant chapel of St. Martin.
It’s hard to believe, but this tiny town, with two streets and a population of no more than ten thousand inhabitants, was once an impregnable fortress.
It is hard to believe, but this tiny town, with two streets and a population of no more than ten thousand inhabitants, was once an impregnable fortress, as evidenced even by its name, which translates as “citadel”. But evidence of this is the ancient castle Do Castelo, which was erected by the Arabs, and reconstructed by order of Alfonso Enriques, and the harsh fortress walls that surround it. They were built later, and most often served as a defense against the attacks of warlike corsairs, the traces of enemy attacks of which are forever imprinted on the fortress walls.
Today, Do Castelo is one of the seven most outstanding architectural monuments in Portugal. Moreover, in the territory of the castle in the second half of the 20th century, a chic hotel complex was opened – Pousada Do Castelo, which is one of the first complexes of this type in the country.
Now everyone can temporarily plunge into the unique atmosphere of the Middle Ages and feel like one of the representatives of the royal dynasty. However, there are more democratic accommodation options for tourists in Obidos.
One more feature of Obidos should be canceled – there is not a single natural reservoir with fresh water on its territory, it is extracted using pressure wells, and the oldest city water supply system (aqueduct) was built back in the 16th century. But at the disposal of residents and guests of the city there is a whole ocean, to which picturesque paths lead, equipped for cycling.
Various historical festivals, knightly tournaments and theatrical performances are often held on the castle square, during which the feeling of real time is lost, and you really are transported to an era when street trading was lively in the city squares, artisans worked, wandering artists surprised with their tricks and trumpeted with might and main heralds.
The largest fair takes place here, where you can buy sweet things (jewelry, painted dishes, handmade household utensils, etc.) made in the best traditions of Portuguese craftsmen. In addition, souvenirs and even antiques can be purchased in one of the shops on Rua Direita.
Also, the International Chocolate Festival is held annually in Obidos, and this is no coincidence, because several small confectionery factories are located on two streets of the town at once. During this culinary action, the whole city turns into one big confectionery, in front of incredible chocolate figures and fonts no one can resist. No wonder the city received an unspoken title: “The Chocolate Capital of Portugal”.