A very special wedding gift that of the king of Portugal D. Dinis who gave Óbidos to his wife Dona Isabel; following his example, the Portuguese sovereigns got into the habit of giving cities to their wives.
Óbidos had to be a real splendor to make a queen fall in love with it, and it still is today. What makes this town magnificent are its crenellated walls, a wall that completely surrounds the town, giving it the appearance of a fairytale castle.
The eye finds it hard to dwell on something, it only sees beauty around it: bright white houses, red roofs, paved alleys, huge climbing plants of wisteria and bougainvillea, giant cacti …
Some houses are decorated with yellow and light blue bands, and all the colors light up under the clear sky and the rays of the sun.
The Óbidos castle stands out for its grandeur over the town. Built by Dom Dinis himself in the 13th century, it is now a luxury pousada (“inn”), a truly romantic hotel. The manor is not open to visitors, but during the Mercado Medieval it becomes the hub of the festival and village life. It’s like stepping back in time.
Medieval market of Óbidos
This medieval festival animates Óbidos for two weeks in July. It is famous in Portugal and abroad, so much so that it attracts buses full of tourists to the city.
The city is filled with costumed figures: courtesans, musicians, knights, beggars, bards, prisoners, cooks, peasants… By paying a premium on the ticket, even visitors can rent a medieval dress for a day.
There are food stands, real medieval taverns. There is also a calendar of live performances: cavalry tournaments, theatrical and comic performances, fireworks and more