We spent only about 2 hours in Obidos as we passed through the area between our beach stops at 'Praia de Mira' (just south of Aveiro) and 'Ilha da Berlenga' (just off-shore from Peniche) due west of Obidos.
The next day, we left from Peniche for a quick drive to Lisbon on the big divided 4-lane highway system in this part of Portugal. This whole area has lots of great tourist destinations within easy reach of the Capital, so they tend to be busier than most of the other places that we visited.
Upon entering the town of Obidos, you come across the stunning town gate PORTA DA VILA.
A plaque nearby reads as follows:
"Town Gate and Our Lady of Piety's Oratory
Main Access Door to the town of Obidos
Concluded approximately in 1380. It shelters
the Oratory dedicated to the Patroness of
Obidos, Our Lady of Piety. Concluded in the
17th Century, with remarkable tile covering from
1740 - 45
The very heart of the town of Obidos is its Mother Church IGREJA DE SANTA MARIA or Church of St. Mary. 17th Century tiles and paintings by artist Josefa D'Obidos, adorn the walls of this wonderful Renaissance Church. It is also contains the tomb and final resting place of Joao De Noronha (1525) Count of Dijon and his spouse.
Church of St. Mary was the setting for the wedding of King Afonso V and his cousin, Princess Isabel, on August 15, 1441, when they were both still children of Age 10 and nine.
The town of OBIDOS is one of Portugal's picturesque gems. It is in the Distrito De Leiria and about 100 kilometres north of Lisbon. Our VT Group stopped here as part of our bus tour on Monday June 1, 2009.
What makes it so charming is its narrow, cobblestoned streets, lined with whitewashed houses painted with blue and yellow borders and most draped with bougainvillaea vines.
The name Obidos is said to come from the Latin "oppidum" meaning citadel.
Known as the "Wedding Present Town" as it was a gift King Dinis gave to Queen Isabel on their wedding day in 1282.
Its main points of interest are:
Town Gate - main access door to the town, built approximately in 1380. It shelters the oratory of Our Lady of Piety.
Saint Mary's Church - Obidos Mother Church, Erected in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 16th century
Castelo de Obidos - Besides its military function, it was also the Royal Palace. In 1950, it became the first historic Pousada (State Inn) in Portugal.
my favorite path is over the walls.
able to walk at the top of the castle walls the view over obidos is great. and yu get to see a closer look of rooftops all over it.
The most charming aspect of Obidos has to be its NARROW COBBLESTONED STREETS. Its main street "Rua Direita" leads from the town gate to the main square "Praca de Santa Maria". Here you will find all sorts of little shops, restaurants, St. Mary's Church, etc. I loved looking up at the various little alleys with stairs leading up to residences.
The street is lined with white-washed houses, some painted with blue and yellow borders - must be a tradition in Obidos and many draped with bougainvillaea vines.
starting from the entrance obidos is full doors of all sizes and shapes. a feature to take in consideration with hundreds all others. if yu care and like me just pick yur camera and snapshot.
Favorite thing: Obidos is a lovely medieval village. Everything seems to be in perfect order. I’ve been told that it isn’t allowed to build new houses inside the walls and that refurbishment has to keep certain patterns. The houses are lovely, as they are small, painted white with yellow or blue stripes. And most of them have flower vases hanging on the windows, making the streets a joyful place on spring and summer sunny days. Churches are also very pretty, most of them with beautiful azulejos (tiles), paintings and frescoes. Baroque style architecture or in other forms of arts such as azulejos (hand painted tiles) is easy to find in Obidos.
Favorite thing: As most Portuguese cites and towns, Obidos is not a plain village, so you will be walking up and down its streets and alleys. Streets are narrow, winding and cobbled and you will come across some nice alleys facing the flowered courtyards of the tiny houses. Walking through these streets is fantastic, but be sure to escape from main street and get into “off the beaten path” streets, alleys and stairs. Don’t worry, you won’t get lost, as Obidos is a very small village and most side streets lead to main street or the castle’s walls. Venture into some of these side streets and wander around, I’m sure you won’t regret. But don’t forget to take comfortable shoes.
The Manueline style castle CASTELO DE OBIDOS was a formidable medieval fortification. The castle, made out of local limestone and marble, was remodelled under King Dinis.
Besides its military function, it was also the Royal Palace.
In 1950, it became the first historic Pousada (State Inn) in Portugal.
Favorite thing: Before entering the Village Door there is the Tourism Office. It is a small building with and glass front and yellow stripe around. There they will provide with the information you need and offer a map of the village with all the must see places. In Portuguese Tourism is Turismo.
I had already been in Portugal for quite some time when I visited Obidos, but it was only about two weeks into the time that I started actually studying the language that I went to visit this village. I was taking a language course open to the general public, and this trip was organized by the school. Hence, a good handful of people of all ages and ethnicities were present. Seeing as I had only been studying the language for 2 weeks, it was quite awful to realize that our guide was speaking only in Portuguese the entire time. There were only a handful of us beginners present, whereas everyone else was rather advanced with the language. Tough luck for us; we sat there and amused ourselves with whatever we could while our lovely guide blabbered away almost incomprehensibly to us. I think I could understand one in every 10 words. Had you given me a few more weeks, I would have had a much easier time.
If you want a tour of the village, find one in a language you can understand!
Fondest memory: The soft glowing luminescene of the burning offeratory candles in the churches is rather soothing. While I was not in the church to pray, it was nice to sit down on an pew and reflect for a moment. Kind of brought back memories of when I used to be a Catholic a long time ago. If I had any cash on me I would have donated a bit and lit one myself. Portugal is an extremely Catholic country (although seemingly most people, especially those of the younger generations, practice strictly out of custom); it is not surprising to see candles everywhere.
Favorite thing: Red clay tile roofs are popular in Portugal, especially in this part of the country. Take a closer look at what is seemingly charming, and you'll see multicolored mold and bird excrement splatter painted all over them. I don't know whether to reprimand the house owners for poor maintenance or applaud them for the catchy scenery. I'll stick to the latter. Years of neglect have left me with a nice photographic subject.
It's tough to imagine a town much more picturesque than Óbidos. It is very small and can easily be covered in an hour or so, but try to stay a little longer in order to soak up some of its quiet charm.
Fondest memory: The view of the town from just outside of its Medieval wall is beautiful. The wall creeps along the hilly terrain completely surrounding the well-kept town. In this picture we are still outside the wall approaching the town from where we parked our car.