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The name Óbidos comes from the Latin word oppidum, meaning citadel or fortified city, this was invaded by the Moors, in November of 1147, and later in 1148 was conquered by the King D. Afonso Henriques, helped by Gonçalo Mendes da Maia. One of the moments that represent Óbidos has one of the villages in the pentagon of the center defensive of the kingdom, is the Cruzeiro da Memória, it was idealized by the Templar. In 1195, Óbidos received its first charter letter from the King D. Sancho I.

The village of Óbidos was considered a dowry for several queens – has a wedding gift of D. Dinis to his wife D. Isabel, built the Queen’s House, extinct in 1834. Another example of many benefits left by the queens of Portugal, are the aqueduct and fountains built in order of D. Catarina.

Óbidos was the main reason for the birth of Caldas da Rainha, before called Caldas de Óbidos, and the queen D. Leonor, during her walks to Óbidos, noticed the poor were taking a bath in the thermal waters.

Óbidos is located near the ocean and a lagoon; its fertile lands were always occupied, since the Paleolithic and several communities, such as Phoenicians and Romans, in which the Romans was built a tower in the south of Facho, and being one of the more evolved stations in the city of Eburobrittium, a city in under archaeological work.

With the earthquake in 1755, parts of the Óbidos wall felled, as well some temples and buildings, changing aspects of the Arabic and medieval design.

This village was the center of many revolutionary acts, since the fights of the Peninsular War, such as the Roliça Battle and in the Revolution of 25th of april, Óbidos hosted the preparatory meeting of this revolution.


Of Roman origin, the castle of Óbidos is one of the most important historical attractions in the West Region, once within its walls hold large events, which together make Óbidos one of the most attractive places to visit and share experiences. The Villa d'Óbidos presents a selection of historical, cultural and artistic monuments that impress your visitors.


  • Castle – of a Roman origin, based on a castro, this was a fortification under Arab rule. After its conquest by the Christians, this was repaired and enlarged several times. During the reign of King Manuel I, the mayor ordered the construction of a palace and a redesign of parts of the castle. In the Hall of Mayors are Manueline windows and clipping portal surmounted by the royal arms and Noronha family. With the 1755 earthquake, the palace suffered enough damage, being almost in ruins until the twentieth century, it was restored and re-qualified to install the Inn, considered the first hostel housed in a historic state building.
  • Door of the Vila – the main entrance of the village of Óbidos, is surmounted by the inscription "The Virgin Our Lady was conceived without original sin" erected the command of King João IV, so thank the Patroness his protection, when the Restoration Independence in 1640. Inside it is a chapel-shrine of Nossa Senhora da Piedade, patron saint of the village, accompanied by a baroque balcony and blue and white tiles, exposing the Passion of Christ in Agony of Jesus in Gethsemane and Arrest Jesus.
  • Door of the Vale/Senhora da Graça – gateway to the village by the side of the spring inside is a chapel-shrine dedicated to Senhora da Graça this site thought to have been a niche with an image offered in thanksgiving. After the siege of 1246, discord between Sancho II and Afonso III, to tradition. This chapel was renovated in 1727 by the magistrate in India, Bernardo de Palma, as a promise to his daughter, who died of love, turning the turret in a temple, with a chapel, altar, choir, podium and vestry, nave, is passing by the street inside.
  • Rua Direita (Main Street) – recognized by this designation, since the fourteenth century, this door connects the village to the Palace of Alcaides. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, this street had big changes, hiding some Gothic doorways of the houses.
  • São Pedro Church – founded in the medieval period, its construction vestiges of the old Gothic portal in the façade. In the sixteenth century, was reformed, but survived the leading portal in a classic style, the baptismal chapel topped by a dome based on shells tubes and helical stairs of the bell tower. Inside, the nave has a gilt baroque altarpiece, from the Johannine time. On the pulpit, the old paint São Pedro receive Christ from heaven, coming from the late seventeenth century or early eighteenth currently lies in the Epistle side wall. In this church painter Josefa d'Óbidos and Father Francisco da Silveira Rafael Malhão are buried, with their gravestone in the chapel.
  • Misericórdia Church – in the old Chapel of the Holy Spirit, here was the Santa Casa da Misericórdia, founded by Queen D. Leonor, in 1498. This church underwent some reforms, especially since the sixteenth century, during its rebuilding, but the most important was inside during the seventeenth century, ordered by the Ombudsman of Mercy and the Prior of St. Peter, João Vieira Tinoco. In its exterior is evident the portal with an image of the Virgin and Child, painted and glazed ceramics, wood dated 1623. Since the interior consists of a nave lined with blue and yellow tiles pattern the years 1625- 30, also known by the set of Mannerist carvings shaped by tribune poll workers and the altarpieces. The chapel has an altarpiece of the woodcarver Manuel das Neves, containing two paintings by André Reinoso, the Visitation of the Virgin to St. Elizabeth and Pentecost, traced to 1628-1630. A reformed once more: its facade welcomes a real shield, crowning the portal of the church and another in triumphal arch, the paint on this bow, two side cabinets of the chancel and the nave roof, with royal arms in the center. Still stands the pulpit of carved stone from 1596, decorated with cartouches and scrolls, bearing an urn for collecting offerings, and a tomb of D. Luisa Guerra, Countess of Knights. In the chancel highlight the image of the Crucified Christ, arising from the seventeenth century and the images of the Virgin and Child, St. Anthony and St. Joseph. In the church you can find a banner of the Holy House of Mercy, painted by Diogo Teixeira in 1592, which seems to represent the features of D. António, Prior of Crato. Attached to the church is the Mercy Hospital, Room Sessions with a baroque decoration.
  • Santa Maria Church - located in the square of Santa Maria is the main church of Óbidos. Unknown date of its construction, this was delivered to São Teotónico, Fellow of King Afonso Henriques, was this great figure of the Church and Prior of the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, with patronage by King João III, to have donated their wife, queen Catherine of Austria. At the end of the fifteenth century, it was restored by Queen D. Leonor, in which the bell tower adjoining the facade and covered by a pyramidal spire of octave. In 1570, this was almost in ruins after the earthquake of 1535, but was planned to be rebuilt. Since the August 15, 1571, the day of the Assumption of Our Lady, the first stone was laid, with a religious procession and apparatus, followed by works, under the protection of Queen Catherine and Prior D. Rodrigo Sanches, Spanish cleric, who was chief almoner of the queen and a figure of prestige in the court of Carlos V. current building these works resulted.
  • Pillory and Awning - the outhouse is in the Plaza de Santa Maria and served market until the early twentieth century. Near the pillory, which in turn is a stone pillar, a symbol of municipal power, and features real weapons as a symbol of Queen D. Leonor. Situated on top of the fountain.
  • Aqueduct – ordered by Queen Catherine of Austria, wife of João III, has a length of three kilometers. This construction was funded entirely by the Queen, who in turn received the floodplain, known as Lowland Queen.


  • Municipal Museum of Óbidos – opened on June 15 of 1970 and includes the route of the West Museum and is headquarters of the Network of Museums and Galleries of Óbidos. The foundation of this museum came from the need to combine the cultural achievements such as the Exhibition of Religious Art in 1954, and the Evocation of Josefa d’Óbidos, in 1959, promoting the closure of the regional museum in a limited space of the Gothic chapel of St. Martin where was the collection of archeology and architectural fragments belonging to Lt. Col. Luis Garcia Torquato de Freitas. The permanent exhibition in this museum tells the religious devotion and artistic production of the Village. Witnessing actions of religious and cultural enrichment collegiate marked some of the biggest names in Portuguese Art, including the collection of paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, André Reinoso and Josefa d'Óbidos.
  • Parish Museum of Óbidos – Built by Queen Isabel in 1309, united by a porch to a leprosarium, away from the village. Its current structure is the result of work carried out during the sixteenth century, after its integration in the goods of Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Obidos, who founded a single nave and a chancel covered with a ribbed broken ark vault, bearing the Cross Christ, the central locking. Under the reign of King João III, new works are carried out between 1530 and 1550, in which the ship is enlarged, the porch is enclosed and exterior buttresses and a new portal classic style are placed. Between 1540 and 1550, an altarpiece of Garcia Fernandes, consisting of seven tables, with scenes from Martin St. Vincent is installed. In 1636, this church is transited to the seat of the parish of São João the Bapista of Mocharro. The 1755 earthquake affected the temple, bell tower and the corresponding current altarpiece of the main chapel, rococo carving, with a screen representation of São João Baptista. The museum will have been a meeting between the community and its roots as a cultural growth factor, and an incentive to the study and dissemination of artistic and historical moments and church property.
  • Abílio Mattos e Silva Museum – born by the will of his wife Maria José Salavisa, this was due to the House of the Torch in 2002, but this was abandoned and went into the building of the former Town Hall in the county, in conjunction with the House of Arco, where Abílio de Mattos e Silva, pinto, set designer and costume designer, lived.
  • NovaOgiva Gallery – is an extension of contemporary art network Museum & Galleries, betting on artistic expression, quality, coming from the recovery of an idea and a space. This space was founded in Óbidos in 1970 by José Aurelio, and had three years of great artistic activity, cultural, citizenship and freedom. After thirty years of inactivity, the Gallery opens its doors as a milestone in the History of Art, Architecture and the very history of the Village and the Museum of Óbidos, one point for exhibitions and cultural events related to contemporary art.
  • Pillory House Gallery – opened in 2004, it aims to present cultural events of relevance, particularly contemporary art practice and promoting new talent that will be entering into the art scene, both in Portugal and internationally.

Dona Josefa d'Óbidos was born in Seville in 1630, flew to Portugal, where his father, painter Baltazar Gomes Figueira, was natural, being conducted for the novitiate, in Coimbra, where he developed his first work of art, representation of Santa Catarina (1646). Failing to adapt to the convent, Josefa moved to Óbidos and initiates activity in the area of painting, first collaborating with his father and then autonomously acquired national and international fame. Josefa broke many of the rules for a male society, which was established as a professional painter, a true exponent artist with great creative ability and keen aesthetic sense and technical mastery.
The most important brands and artistic settings Josefa d'Óbidos is the study of light and contrasts, making the current proto-Baroque of peninsular matrix related to Seville and Madrid painting. However, Josefa can’t overcome some of the most important names in seventeenth-century peninsular painting, but adds to them a new focus on the painful, violent and majestic mysticism, is developed to suit mysticism, represented in Boys Saviors of the World, with translucent dress, lace and decorated with jewels and flowers, offering a simple character, but also intimate, represented the Lord of Cana Verde Veronica or towel.
Josefa d'Óbidos died in 1684, with extensive work developed and spread throughout the country and abroad, however, much of her work faded over time, with changing artistic styles and the earthquake of 1755. Her legacy has artistic merit an interest on the part of art historians and museum specialists, registered in exhibitions of the National Academy of Fine Arts (1942), the Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon (1949), in Óbidos, in St. James Church (1959), the Warhead (1971) and Gallery in the Sun Santa Maria (1984), in the Picture Gallery of King Louis at the Ajuda Palace (1992) and, more recently, the National Museum of Women in Arts, in Washington and in London, the Italian Institute (1997), which was reflected also in the present work.



The Óbidos Lagoon is one of the most values that Óbidos is proud of. This is a coastal lagoon system and the most extensive in Portugal, a system that extends upstream by two channels, one westerly to the Bom Sucesso and the other to orient to Barrosa. This lagoon shares land borders with Caldas da Rainha, specifically Foz do Arelho e Nadadouro (north) and with Óbidos, specifically Vau and Santa Maria (south).

The fauna found in the Óbidos Lagoon is constituted by fish species such as sea bass, halibut, plaice, turbot, bream, mullet; and other species such as clams, cockles, mussels, shrimp, octopus, eel, crabs, and many others. The avifauna community is represented by heron, mallard ducks, oystercatchers, curlew, and many others that have an important role in the ecosystem this laggon.

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