Óbidos Things to Do

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  • Óbidos, Leiria, Portugal
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Most Recent Things to Do in Óbidos

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    Walk Obidos Old Town Street

    by BurgerQueen Written Jun 24, 2008

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    Crossroad at the entrance of the old town
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    While walking the streets of Obidos old town, I got the impression of being in a theme park: everything is so perfect!
    Streets get very busy from late morning till late afternoon because most of the tourists come at that time of the day, but if you have the chance of stopping in Obidos for the night, you will definitely get a better idea of what I mean!
    I also recommend to wake up early in the morning and to have breakfast in one of the cosy bars located on the main street.

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    A quick look at the Castle

    by BurgerQueen Written Jun 24, 2008

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    The castle (dirty lens on my camera!)
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    The Obidos Castle is visible from every corner of the village since it is located on its highest spot.
    If you are taking a walk on the walls, you will inevitably end up in here, sooner or later. The castle is built in the same style as the walls, and it is impressive because of its size.
    We just has a look at it from the outside, because the castle has turned into a pousada (an expensive hotel) :-)
    Not sure whether to post this tip in here or in the Accomodation section!

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    • Castles and Palaces

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    Walking on the Old Town walls

    by BurgerQueen Updated Jun 23, 2008

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    A stunning view on Obidos from its walls
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    In my opinion, the best way to get an overview on Obidos is walking on the walls of the old town. Being a medieval village, the old town is entirely bordered with defensive walls allowing you to comfortably circumnavigate the old city.
    Sometimes the walls are a little bit dangerous because of their height (there is no protection), but the game is worth the candle!

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    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Laguna da Obidos

    by leffe3 Written Jan 27, 2008
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    Follow the river out of the old city, along the banks of what was once the lifeblood of the town, but which, due to silting, is no longer important as a trade route. It's a beautiful short drive (a few kilometres) to the spectacular mouth and its entrance to the Mediterranean. It's partially developed - a few small scale hotels and bars/restaurants, but with its safe bathing around the lagoon, the access to the open sea and cliff top walks, it's a spectacular low-key spot.

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    Medieval Town

    by leffe3 Updated Jan 27, 2008
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    Obidos is a beautiful walled Medieval town - the castle, the Church of Santa Maria, the alleyways off the main street. But one of the great pleasures is walking uphill and downhill, noticing the detail, the small things that do not necessarily rate as a 'must do' in their own right. It's worth simply heading off and seeing where you end up and what you see. There's no danger of getting lost - it's too small!

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    Praca de Santa Maria

    by leffe3 Updated Jan 27, 2008

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    The main square of the town is about half way along the main street, with the Church of Santa Maria dominant.

    The Church is important as it hosted the wedding of the future Afonso V and his cousin Isabel in 1441.He was 10, she was 8!

    Its relatively simple inside - wood and more of those 18th century tiles, but it also important as it contains work of Josefa de Obidos. She is one of the few women artists actually 'recognised' as important by art historians.

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    Castello

    by leffe3 Updated Jan 27, 2008

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    Built in the 12th century by Afonso Henriques after conquering the town from the Moors in 1148 (less than a year after he defeated them at Santorem and, in celebration, built Alcobaca - see separate tip). It totally dominates the town and surrounding area and can be seen in all directions.

    There's actually not that much to it, although there are some great walks up the ramparts and over the back half of the building. The main remains of the place have been converted into a pricey poussada, providing great accommodation and a highly regarded restaurant. It is also a key site location for exhibiting work during the Obidos Sculpture Biennale.

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  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    narrow medieval alleys

    by leffe3 Updated Jan 27, 2008
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    The town within the walled fortifications is quite small and compact, but also built across the hillside - steep alleys join and leave the main street, climbing up or down the hillside, meandering through the old town (no straightforward grids here) eventually butting up against the original town walls.

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    High St/Rua de Direita

    by leffe3 Updated Jan 27, 2008

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    The main street running through the walled city is stumbled upon (and I mean stumbled unless you're alert to the uneven cobbles) virtually immediately after passing through the Port da Vila.

    You're immediately 'shown' what to expect in the town - a narrow, cobbled street with whitewashed homes, finished off with either blue or yellow borders, lots of bouganvillea. Most of the shops here now service the tourists, but there are a number of places for decent coffee.

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    City Gate/Porta da Vila

    by leffe3 Updated Jan 27, 2008
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    The main entrance into the medieval fortified town is throught he southern gate - the Porta da Vila. In true Portuguese style, the interior of the gateway has been bedecked by rather grand 18th century tiles.

    And just before you enter through the gate, you get great views of the walled city and imposing castle overlooking the town.

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    Obidos by night

    by angiebabe Updated Jan 1, 2007

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    night view of Obidos
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    See Obidos by night for a different look and when the streets are freed up from the bus loads of tourists.
    This particular spot which looks from the main access road up to the main parking area to visit Obidos (and where the ATM is!!) is a good view over the town of Obidos and its walls.
    so ive included a day photo from the same spot i took one at night (not as successfully as the day shot obviously!)

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Road Trip

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    photogenic scenes around Largo de Sao Pedro

    by angiebabe Written Jan 1, 2007

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    looking from the square up to the mainstreet
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    Around the central square Largo de Sao Pedro, along the main street not far below the castelo, are some picturesque scenes i was able to click with my camera.

    Here in this square is the principle church Igreja de Santa Maria, with its beautiful interior in which even the marriage of the child king Alfonso took place in 1444, and the old town hall.

    Also a nice coffee spot under the trees for some rest after all that walking around to see all the picture postcard sights around Obidos and the excellent walk around the ramparts!!

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    • Photography
    • Historical Travel

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    see the art of a woman with reputation

    by angiebabe Written Jan 1, 2007

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    the priest Faustino des neves
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    One of the finest of Portuguese painters was the woman Josefa de Obidos, born in Seville in 1634, she spent most of her life in a convent in Obidos.
    She began as an etcher and miniaturist and this ability to handle detail is a feature of her later full-scale works.

    Thankfully my SLR has such a good ability to get me shots with less light than a lot of other cameras can manage and i am pleased that the attempts i made to get shots of Josefa's retablo in the altar at the Igreja de Santa Maria and also the one and only other picture on display at the nearby museum have turned out satisfactorily without using flash mode.

    The painting to be found in museum in the old town hall is of the priest Faustino des Neves which i thought was great - thankfully the woman looking after the museum let me attempt a photo without my flash!!

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    check out the souvenir shops

    by angiebabe Written Jan 1, 2007

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    And theres lots of them! some things as to be expected in such a touristy town are over priced but some i thought were very reasonable.

    there was an interesting array of goods and items -
    particularly textiles such as bags and rugs or blankets with interesting motives such as the rooster of Barcelos.

    A Portugeuse friend of mine living in London had recommended the shop near where the steps come up from the central square Largo de Sao Paulo managed by an old gentleman and i did actually find his prices to be slightly lower and he had a big shop with a good array of items to peruse over.

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Visit the principle church Igreja de Santa Maria

    by angiebabe Updated Jan 1, 2007

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    altar with retablo on right by Josefa de Obidos
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    The Igreja de Santa maria in the central square Largo de Sao Pedro dates mainly from the Renaissance period. It is decorated with blue seventeenth century azulejos and strongly decorated ceiling.
    Apparently this church is also famous for having held the wedding of the 10 year old king Afonso V and his eight year old cousin Isabel in 1444.

    The retablo to the right of the altar is painted by one of Portugals finest painters Josefa de Obidos - and yes shes a woman! - she spent years in a convent in Obidos and is one of the few women give any regard or reputation by art historians. I went there specifically to see her work and there is one painting in the small museum around the corner in the adjacent museum which was once the old town hall.

    Due to the aged and historic interior art and decoration no photo taking is allowed and there is a guardian in attendance to supervise and attend to the church. I took a few photos without a flash and am still waiting to see the results.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

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