Located in the picturesque town in Central Portugal, Óbidos Castle stands as a majestic fortress filled with centuries of history. This enchanting medieval gem transports visitors back in time with its cobblestone streets and charming atmosphere. In fact, the whole town revolves around the castle, giving Óbidos its unique charm. Let’s take a look at the history behind the Óbidos Castle, its construction, and what you can expect when visiting.
The history of Óbidos Castle is closely intertwined with the history of the town itself. The castle was originally built by the Moors in the 12th century and later conquered by the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, during the Reconquista.
In the 13th century, King Dinis I gifted Óbidos to his wife, Queen Isabel, as a wedding present. From then on, it became a tradition for Portuguese queens to receive Óbidos as part of their dowry. This royal connection enhanced the castle’s status and led to further renovations and improvements.
Throughout the years, Óbidos Castle witnessed the rise and fall of different dynasties, including the House of Aviz and the House of Braganza. It underwent several modifications, with each ruler leaving their mark on the castle’s architecture and defenses.
During the 19th century, Óbidos Castle fell abandoned. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the castle underwent extensive restoration, preserving its historical significance and allowing visitors to experience its medieval charm.
The architecture of Óbidos Castle is a stunning example of medieval military fortification. The castle’s solid stone walls, watchtowers, and battlements exude a sense of strength and grandeur. As you enter the castle through its imposing gateway, you are transported to a bygone era.
Within the castle walls, you’ll discover a labyrinth of narrow streets lined with whitewashed houses adorned with vibrant flowers. The medieval architecture remains remarkably intact, and the castle’s interior houses a charming chapel, a cozy inn, and a handful of museums that offer glimpses into the town’s rich history.
Climbing the castle walls provides a breathtaking panoramic view of Óbidos and its surrounding countryside, a sight that will undoubtedly leave you in awe.
Visiting Times & Tickets
Unfortunately, the Castle of Óbidos is not open for regular visits as it has been transformed into a historical hote. However, there are still areas that visitors can explore. The Garden/Terrace and the Belvedere, which is located in front of the entrance to the Pousada, are open to the public.
Additionally, visitors can access the Walls and the “Cerca” courtyard behind the Castle, but only when there are no events taking place.
The access to these areas is free, except for the exceptions mentioned earlier, and visitors can also explore the charming town of Óbidos. Moreover, the walls surrounding the Castle have a perimeter of 1565 meters, which can be easily walked.