Oppidum is the Latin term for a “castle” or a “fortified city” from which derives the name of one the tiny and marvelous Portuguese cities – Óbidos. It is only an hour drive from the Beautiful Lily of Europe to the North. The small town is a real pearl in white on a day when the sky is intensely blue, the houses below are immaculately white and there are dark clouds in the distance. Thus the tiny village resembles a settlement taken from a fairy-tale, a painting from last century.
Probably it would look like in a completely different way of it is full of crowds of tourists and the day isn’t sunny. But no matter what, Óbidos is a majestic place. Its charm is due to the fact that it is a fortified city, actually, surrounded by a wall. When you enter it, a maze of winding streets will take your breath away and the surrounding white houses with blue-and-yellow edges will make your heart stop beating.
The old houses have been transformed into souvenir shops and small restaurants from whose facades bougainvillea and wisteria make the landscape even more awesome. Women who knit and craftsmen are a common view along the two main streets.
The streets “climb up” to the fortified walls and the small churches offer you to take you back to old times. An explicit example is Church “Santa Maria” which is famous for having been the place where Alfonso V and his cousin Isabel (at the age of 10 and 8, respectively) got married. Nowadays the Church attracts a great number of tourists with its frescoed ceiling and walls entirely covered with splendid and authentic azulejos.
This azulejos (North African mosaics that resemble the ancient Roman ones) covers also the main gate from where the antique centre is reached. There’s a flight of steps on the left to the main gate and the steep steps lead to a place under the tower from where one can indulge in awesome views. Last but not least, another attraction is to climb up the Tower and have a nice walk along the city wall.