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Obidos Things to Do and See
Obidos is a charming Portuguese town that makes for an enjoyable day trip from Lisbon. This guide will detail the major sights and activities to see or do while visiting Obidos. Obidos is a relatively small town and all of the sights can be easily seen within a few hours.
The Porta de Vila
The main gate into Obidos contains a beautiful tiled chapel that overlooks the main thoroughfare. The blue and white 18th century glazed tiles, called Azulejo, depict the passion of Christ while the ceiling represents the crown of thorns.
The beautiful tile paints of the Porta da Vila
The Porta da Vila passes through two low-rise entrances that were staggered to prevent a direct charge and low enough to inhibit mounted attackers following the common design of late gothic Portuguese castles.
Walk the Town Walls
The town walls of Obidos completely encircle the town and it is possible to walk the entire perimeter. From the walls there are wonderful views over the terracotta tiled roofs and white painted houses of the town. The entire walk takes around an hour, but is only for the confident as there are multiple trip hazards and almost no safety railings.
The beautiful view over Obidos, Portugal from the city wall
A Drink of Ginja de Obidos
Ginja de Obidos is a cherry liquor that is produced within the Obidos region and no visit to the town is complete without sampling the sweet alcohol drink. The drink can be served in small chocolate cups which can be eaten after drinking the Ginja.
Ginja de Obidos is a deliciously sweet alcoholic drink
Stay in Obidos Castle
The castle of Obidos has been converted into a luxurious hotel and it is a truly unique location for a night’s stay. The castle dates from the 12th century but the structures that tourist clamber over today date from the 14th century when the castle’s keep and town walls were strengthened.
The mighty Obidos castle
Shopping on the Rua Direita
The Rua Direita is the main street of Obidos and it is lined with a variety of shops. The majority of these shops are purely focused for tourists but they sell a range of interesting gifts and traditional items. To keep the energy levels of the shopper’s high there are multiple cafes or stalls selling Ginja.
The Rua Direita is full of traditional shops
The Santa Maria Church
The Igreja de Santa Maria was the location of the wedding of King Afonso V to his betrothed cousin Isabel in 1444. The strange aspect of this wedding was that the bride was only 8 while the groom was little older at 10.
The Santa Maria church in Obidos
The church originates from the 12th century, and the Christian conquest of Portugal lead by King Afonso Henriques. The church was constructed on the site of a mosque but little of this original church remains as it was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1535.
In front of the Igreja de Santa Maria church is a stone pillory (The Pelourinho em Obidos) that was presented to Obidos as a gift from Queen Leonor in 1492. The pillory was a gif given to the local fishermen of Obidos, from Queen Leonor, for recovering the body of her son Afonso after he died, in 1491.
The Obidos Pillory
The death was under mysterious circumstances while he was horse riding along the banks of the River Tejo. The pillory was used to hang criminals from, so that local residences could shout or hurl objects at the unfortunate person, who would be bound naked to the post.
The aqueduct was constructed in the 16th century to transport water to the town. The project was funded by the queen of Portugal (Queen Catherine) and she sold her lands that surrounded Obidos to pay for the construction. There are larger aqueducts in Portugal but Obidos aqueduct is fully intact.
The stone aqueduct