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OBIDOS TOURISM GUIDE

The Wedding Present Town; Portugal's most romantic medieval village



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Obidos 
Castle Obidos view All of Obidos has been declared a national monument. It is known as the "Wedding Present Town" because it was a gift King Dinis gave to Queen Isabel on their wedding day in 1282, but that alone is not what makes it such an extraordinarily romantic place -- what make it one of Europe's most romantic medieval villages are its incredibly picturesque cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses filled with geraniums and bougainvillea, Gothic doorways and windows, whitewashed churches, flowerpots and dazzling tiles -- all encircled by the walls of a 12th century castle. Scaling its 13m (45ft)-high medieval walls is the best way to admire this picture postcard-perfect place.

Obidos 
Street The main street ("Rua Direita") leads from the town gate (decorated with 18th century tile panels) to the main square (Praça de Santa Maria). It has a beautiful fountain, a 15th century pillory, the Town Museum (with exhibits ranging from archeological finds to 15-17th centuries sculpture and paintings), and Santa Maria Church. That's where 10-year-old King Afonso V married his 8-year-old cousin Isabel in 1444, with an interior entirely faced with tiles and containing the tomb of João de Noronha, the castle governor who died in 1575. Closeby is Misericordia Church (with a fine Baroque doorway), while outside the walls is the Amoreira Aqueduct, built at the behest of Catherine of Austria in 1575.

Every July a Medieval Fair recreates the Middle Ages with medieval music, knights, witches, and theater performances, and during the International Chocolate Festival in November, Obidos becomes the world's chocolate capital with incredible chocolate sculptures.

The best way to experience the romantic atmosphere of the village is to stay overnight when most visitors are gone. Try booking the castle hotel (part of the Pousadas group) well in advance -- you'll find yourself filled with medieval romance when you step outside and find the walls floodlit and the narrow alleys brightened by the moonlight.

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Places Nearby

Mafra - One of Europe's biggest palaces, the building that bankrupted the nation
Ericeira - Traditional seaside village; surfing mecca, superb seafood
Peniche - A dream-like nature preserve with underwater activities; fine sandy beaches
Alcobaça - Europe's greatest Cistercian temple
Batalha - European Gothic masterpiece; spectacular underground caves
Nazare - Colorful, traditional fishing village
Fatima - World-famous shrine of the Catholic world
Tomar - Manueline flourishes in "the home of the knights"; a "haunted castle"



CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN PORTUGAL
AROUND LISBON
AND TAGUS VALLEY
Alcobaça
Arrábida
Azeitão
Batalha
Cascais
Ericeira
Estoril
Fatima
Leiria
Mafra
Nazaré
Obidos
Palmela
Peniche
Queluz
Santarém
Sesimbra
Setubal
Sintra
Tomar
ALENTEJO
Beja
Castelo de Vide
Elvas
Estremoz
Evora
Marvão
Mértola
Monsaraz
Vila Viçosa

ALGARVE
Albufeira
Faro
Lagos
Sagres
Silves
Tavira
Vila Real de Santo António
Vilamoura
BEIRAS (CENTRAL PORTUGAL)
Aveiro
Belmonte
Buçaco
Coimbra
Conimbriga
Figueira da Foz
Guarda
Monsanto
Piodão
Serra da Estrela
Viseu

PORTO AND DOURO
Amarante
Lamego
Porto
MINHO
Barcelos
Braga
Gerês National Park
Guimarães
Ponte de Lima
Ponte da Barca
Viana do Castelo

TRAS-OS-MONTES
Bragança
Chaves
Vila Real

THE ISLANDS
Azores
Madeira