“On the outside looking in”

Obidos, Portugal. May 2019. (15 photos)

This is Part 4 of my Portugal 2019 photo series, and also Part 7 of my Europe 2019 photo series.

Recently I spent a month visiting France and Portugal, with a short visit to Singapore for good measure.

To the north of Lisbon, about an hour’s drive by express bus, lies the medieval walled town of Obidos, which was voted as one of the seven wonders of Portugal (7 Maravilhas de Portugal) in 2007. On the day I visited there was dense cloud cover the entire day in Obidos, despite it being hot and cloudless in nearby Lisbon. Must be one of those “microclimate” things. Such is life.

“Obidos streetscape”

Obidos is commonly considered as one of the most charming and picturesque towns of central Portugal. Within the town are traditionally whitewashed cottages trimmed with blue and yellow paint, narrow cobblestoned streets, and an old Moorish castle.

“Obidos Castle”

Construction of Obidos castle began in Roman times in the mid 1st century, but it wasn’t until the occupation by the Moors that the fortress was completed. In 1148 the first king of Portugal, Dom Afonso Henriques, defeated the Moors and conquered the village and its castle. In 1210, King Afonso II gifted the town of Obidos to his wife, Queen Urraca. Since then, Obidos was often patronized by the Queens of Portugal, giving rise to its informal title as Vila das Rainhas (town of the Queens).

“Walls of Obidos”

The wall of this medieval town is about 1.5 km in length and some of it is open to be walked.

“On the Walls of Obidos”

I tried to time my multiple walks across the wall to when no-one else was coming from the other direction. But when there was, I always made sure I was the one who stopped first to let them pass, so I could grab the wall for safety. I couldn’t imagine walking the walls in full battle armour.

“Above Obidos”

“Don’t look down”

I came across one guy who had just walked up a set of stairs with his children to the top of the wall. As soon as he saw how narrow the path on the wall was, he hesitated and walked straight back down.

“A commanding view”

There were some lovely views over the town and also across the surrounding countryside with numerous orchards and vineyards.

“Igreja de Santa Maria”

Back on the ground, the town has many points of interest.

“More Walls of Obidos”

Bougainvillea abounds in Obidos.

“A wall with door in Obidos”


Of course there would be painted blue tiles on the walls of Obidos.

“Chorizo Bread”

On my first full day in Lisbon I did a food tour and the guide told me they made the best chorizo bread in Obidos. It didn’t take long for me to find this bakery and coming straight out of the oven as I walked in were loaves of bread with large slices of chorizo in their centre. I immediately bought a loaf and ate it. I didn’t need lunch after that.

Another of the specialties of Obidos I indulged in was ginjinha (cherry liqueur) which I had served in a chocolate cup.

“Strolling Obidos”


Of course there are other interesting features outside the walled town, including this 16th century aqueduct. But I didn’t venture much outside of the wall of Obidos as I had to catch the bus back to Lisbon, a 1 hour trip that took almost 2 hours because the bus broke down on the highway.

In May and June 2019, I visited France, Portugal and Singapore.

This is Part 7 of this photographic series and Part 4 of the posts about Portugal.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Walls of Obidos


48 thoughts on “Walls of Obidos

    • LOL, you’re not alone in feeling that way. If the rampart had been narrower I would have baulked, but as it was, and in my tourist frame-of-mind, I readily walked across them, taking videos and photos. πŸ™‚

  1. Heide says:

    “Don’t look down” indeed! Walking those walls looks a bit terrifying β€” but what gorgeous vistas you captured. I love your snippets of daily life also, from the azulejos to the woman tending the oven. Gorgeous shots, all.

  2. I love this place so much, I wanna go visit! Wonderful photos (but you neglected to include the photo you must’ve taken of the cherry liqueur in a chocolate cup).

    • As you’ve correctly guessed I have several photos of the cherry liqueur shop and attendant, the liqueur being poured, the chocolate cup filled with liqueur and me with it. But in the interest of limiting the number of photos posted, and since this isn’t a food blog, the photo of the chorizo bread and oven won out. Be thankful I didn’t post the photo of the part eaten bread with chorizo sticking out of it. πŸ™‚

  3. I believe I have been here before with the wonderful Restless Jo who loves climbing anything with height! There is no way I would walk on those walls, the ones around York are bad enough! No I am much happier tootling around below and seeing those lovely walls and flowers and tiles, eating delicious bread and supping cherry liqueur – but I thank you kindly for showing me the views.

  4. J.D. Riso says:

    The Moorish castle and views are picturesque, but my favorite photos are the bougainvillea against the decaying walls. So vibrant.

  5. Never heard much of Lisbon, also never heard much of the wall of Obidos. That’s amazing the path along the wall up there is not fence – anyone can go as close to the edge as they please if they dare. Don’t blame you for stopping and letting others go first so you can clutch the wall like Spiderman πŸ˜›

    Chorizo bread. Warm in the mouth must be heavenly. One hour delay doesn’t sound too bad. At least it didn’t take half a day for help to come rescue you and the other bus passengers on the road πŸ˜€

    • That warm chorizo bread was incredibly good. Yes, I was surprised there was a lack of safety rails and signs along the rampart, but in a way that was kind of refreshing, too. People have to take responsibly for themselves. I guess if someone were to fall though, that would all change.

      Being a small country, the highways aren’t too remote. The highway patrol had found us within about 10 minutes. Everyone on the bus was calm and relaxed. Typical for Portugal.

The Wood Dragon is listening...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.