1. From Lisbon: Óbidos Experience
Take a journey to one of the oldest and best-preserved places in Portugal: the town of Óbidos. Your trip will last approximately 1-hour. Feel free to enjoy some of the most beautiful landscapes in western Portugal for the next 55 miles. The village of Óbidos was probably founded by the Celts in 308 BC. Recent studies have led experts to believe that Óbidos was part of the ancient Roman city of Eburobrittium. The village was later occupied by the barbarians and then by the Moors. The first King of Portugal, Alphonse I, conquered the village from the Moors on the 11th of January 1148. In the 18th century, Óbidos still held its noble status as a place for the royal summer holidays. King John V stayed in Óbidos for eight years on the advice of his doctors to go bathing in Caldas da Rainha to treat his arthritis and obesity. On arrival in this charming village some of the places of interest are as follows: Town Gate or Our Lady of Sorrow, patron saint of Óbidos: You can see the inscription: “The Virgin, Our Lady, was conceived without original sin”, which dates back to the 17th century, to the time of John IV. Marvel at the 18th century tiles that represent scenes of the Passion of Christ. St. Peter’s Church: Saint Peter’s Church has a medieval foundation and still has its original portal. It was renovated in the second half of the 16th century. The church has a single nave and a superb altarpiece in baroque woodwork from the architectural period of King John V. Pousada of Óbidos: The Pousada of Óbidos was the first in Portugal to be built from an historical building. It is located inside what was once the Paço do Alcaide. Notice the beautiful Manueline windows and the doorway with an ornate lintel molded in the fashion of intertwined tree-trunks. St. James Church: Over the centuries, during their stays in Óbidos, the royal family attended the St. James Church, founded by King Sancho in 1186. St. Mary’s Church of Óbidos: Legend has it that St. Mary’s Church of Óbidos is located in the exact same place as the old Visigoth temple used to be. The temple was later turned into a mosque. When the Christian conquest by Alphonse I took place in 1148, it became a Catholic church. Inside St. Mary’s Church, one can admire the splendid collection of tiles that cover the walls. Don’t miss the tomb of D. João de Noronha, mayor of Óbidos in the 16th century, a masterpiece by the sculptor Nicolau Chanterene.