Óbidos, Portugal

Óbidos is a town about 80 kilometres north of Lisbon, which is completely surrounded by the walls of a 12th century castle. Famous for being a wedding present given to queens by kings, starting with King Dinis who gave Óbidos to Queen Isabel on their wedding day in 1282. It continued to be the property of Portuguese queens until the 19th century. The town is also where, in 1973, the first meeting took place that led to the Carnation Revolution on 25 April 1974. (Search 25 April 2018 for more information)

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Until the 15th century there was a natural harbour on the west side of Óbidos, where ships moored at the castle walls. A combination of tsunamis, earthquakes and storms ‘moved’ the coastline 10 kilometres away from the town. Óbidos was declared a National Monument in1951.

Access to Óbidos is by the town gate, built around 1380, which leads to narrow cobbled streets, flower covered walls, and white painted, terracotta roofed, buildings. There are also five churches and a chapel fitted within the medieval walls. The shops all seemed to be aimed at tourists, which fill the main streets, wander away from these and one will find quieter lanes with fewer tourists, making it slightly more pleasant to enjoy the medieval delights of Óbidos.

It is possible to walk along the castle ramparts, which provides views of the surrounding countryside as well as of the town itself. The aqueduct, sited outside the town walls was built by Queen Catherine in the 16th century  to transport water to the town.

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