Just a few miles north of Lisbon is the town of Obidos, known as the Wedding Present Town.
In 1282, King Dom Dinis presented his new bride, Queen Doña Isabel, with a gift and that gift was Obidos itself. Since then until the monarchy was overthrown in the 19th century, every Portuguese king presented his queen with Obidos as part of the dowry.
Obidos has been named as a national monument because of its rich medieval history. For modern-day visitors and for many generations to come, this is good news because it ensures that Obidos will be preserved, including its architecture.
And the town indeed has a romantic ambience to it that lures even the most skeptical visitor to partake of its delights. The medieval walls that surrounded Obidos as a formidable fortress still stand while the narrow cobblestone streets seems to echo the footsteps of the royals and commoners who once walked on these stones. The houses add charm to the town with their white walls and blue trimmings complemented by flower boxes filled with a riot of colors.
If you are an aficionado of architectural history, you will observe a riot of styles as well. Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance styles exist together like a great puzzle with different designs and yet managing to evoke a certain oneness about the town.
Located in Obidos as well is one of the country's seven wonders - the Manueline castle. It is located at the top of the town as expected in a home for royals and in a town bestowed as a dowry to a beloved queen. Although it may have royal origins, the castle can now be enjoyed by commoners since it has been converted into a historical hotel.
Other medieval must-visit sites in Obidos include the Santa Maria Church, the Baroque Misericordia Church and the Amoreira Aqueduct. All of these structures have their own interesting stories so make sure to brush up on your history.
After all these sightseeing, you will want to eat. Enjoy the cuisine with the famous Ginjinha at one of the town's restaurants. Tomorrow, you will begin yet another adventure at Obidos.
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