Obidos, an irresistible village
Obidos is one of the most beautiful Portuguese villages, embracing the present and the future never forgetting its incredible the past. It’s a must go place in Portugal.
Nested inside the walls of its magnificent castle, Obidos is one of the most beautiful Portuguese villages and I believe that the best way to described it is to ask you if you know that feeling of opening a chocolate box and discovering a treat so delicious that makes you want to eat the all box? Well, with Obidos the sensation is very similar as after the first visit you will want to come back again and again; the difference is that this box will never be empty, as there is always going to be a new detail waiting for you.
Because the traffic inside castle’s walls is limited, you may peacefully wander along the cobbled streets, discovering every enchanted little corner of this charming village characterized by its typical houses of an immaculate white decorated with shinning yellow, red or blue bars, and blossoming flowerbeds.
Even though the castle is nowadays a hotel, therefore visits are not allowed, you should not miss the opportunity to walk along the walls, enjoying the overwhelmingly romantic view. Enjoy also the impressive Porta da Vila (The Village Gate) where the inscription «A Virgem Nossa Senhora foi concebida sem pecado original» (To the Holly Lady, conceived without sin) was placed under the orders of King John IV to thank the patron saint for her protection during the Independence Restoration in 1640, along with its oratory chapel, where Jesus Agony and Prison are depicted in blue and white tiles.
The devotion to the Roman Church of the Portuguese is well expressed in the many churches and chapels existing in Obidos, all worthy of a visit. On the other hand, the Synagogue dating from the 14th or 15th centuries proofs the spirit of religious tolerance of this charming village. However, one of my favorite highlights of Obidos is, how shall I say it, less religious. I am talking about the famed ginja de Obidos, a natural handmade sour cherry liqueur that combines the ancient knowledge of the Monks who created it with fruits of the region. This unique beverage may be served as an aperitif or as a digestive drink and it tastes even better when served in a glass made of chocolate.
Speaking about chocolate, let me tell you that Obidos is conquering visitors due to its International Chocolate Festival held locally each year, intending to celebrate that delicacy almost no one can resist.
A good time to visit Obidos is during the Obidos Vila Natal (Obidos Christmas Town), the event that turns every year the village into a Christmas fairy tale and that is going to take place between December 9th and January 1st.
The Opera Festival and the Medieval Fair are other events held in Obidos that offer unforgettable moments to visitors.
A little bit of Obidos’ history
Obidos is set on an area occupied since the Lower Paleolithic, as the evidences found in Outeiro da Assenta confirm. The Phoenician came to the area to trade and the Romans who founded the city of Eburobrittium in the region.
Afonso Henriques conquered Obidos to the Moors in 1147 and to celebrate the deed the Cruzeiro da Memória (Memory Cross Stone) was built. However, the village gained high relevance when it was offered as a wedding gift to King Dinis and his wife Isabel, becoming a property of the House of the Queens and one of the refugees of the Portuguese Queens throughout the Middle Age and Modern Age. In fact, several Queens, especially Leonor and Catarina, were responsible for some of the emblematic developments of the village, including the aqueduct and the fountains.
The 1755 earthquake destroyed part of the Arab and medieval heritage of the village that was also affected by the battle of Roliça, one of the battles of the Peninsular War. Fortunately, Obidos recovered from all the damages to be one of the most treasured villages by the Portuguese and all who visit it.
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