Portugal - 4/13-4/20/2016
The name Óbidos dating from ancient Roman times, means "walled town". Founded by Celts (300B.C.), then ruled by Romans, Visigoths, and Moors, Óbidos was known as Portugal's "wedding city".
The story goes that in 1282 Portuguese Queen Isabel passed through Óbidos and marveled at its beauty, her husband King Denis I simply gave it to her. For centuries after, the kings of Portugal followed suit, presenting the picturesque little town to their queens as a wedding gift. Today the medieval walled town is popular for lowly commoners' wedding. Preserved in its entirely as a national monument since 1951, it survives on tourism. The walled city of Óbidos is very popular with tourists, its hillside location offering amazing views of the Estremadura area. The medieval castle is a main attraction.
Church of Santa Maria
From the parking lot the first thing you see is the Church of Santa Maria. 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.
The Praça de Santa Maria is dominated by the
Santa Maria church with its white bell tower and a lovely Renaissance portal. At
the time when the Moors were the lords of the region, this was the site on which
they built their mosque. When Afonso Henriques captured Óbidos in 1148, a
Christian church replaced the mosque.
View of the back of the church-The church we see today dates from the sixteenth century.
Street performers just before the entrance Rua Direita (main road)
Rua Direita is the main street leading from the castle on Praça de Santa Maria.
The main street is a narrow cobbled street flanked by white houses, and it is lined with craft shops, street vendors, restaurants and art galleries.
The majority of these shops are purely focused for tourists but they sell a range of interesting gifts and traditional items.
Mature giant geraniums decorating the walls.
Lots of shops sell Ginja de Obidos, a cherry liquor that is produced within the Obidos region.
For 1 Euro, you get a shot of Ginja de Obidos that can be served in small chocolate cups which can be eaten after drinking the Ginja or you can drink it in a glass.
A vendor pouring Ginja de Obidos in a chocolate cup for customers.
We did not try it but a lots of tourists are...
At the end of the street is Praça de Santa Maria.
The building you see was probably a church before but it is now a book store.
We did not know that once a year they have a Chocolate festival at Obidos and that's why it is really crowded.
Next ... Castle of Obidos