Obidos Castle and The City Walls
Obidos has been an important fortified town since the Roman era. After the Christian conquest of the Arab Moors in the 12th century the necessity for a secure power base in the region required the increased fortification of the town and its castle. The keep was constructed and walls were further strengthened in the 14th century and these are the structures that tourist are able to clamber over today.
The keep stands at the highest point of the town but is not open for visitors unless they are staying in the exclusive hotel which it has been transformed into. The city walls run the entire perimeter of Obidos and provide a novel, if slightly dangerous, pathway and great views over the town.
Tourist Information about Obidos Castle and Walls
The Castle was transformed from a complete ruin in 1951 to a pousada (deluxe Portuguese hotel) which provides very atmospheric setting and hotels rooms. The only downside is that non guest are unable to explore the once mighty castle. The walls of Obidos are at the other extreme of tourists activities, they are completely free and open to walk along but very little has changed since their construction in the 14th century.
There are no hand rails on the steps or along the upper paths and the rutted paths are far from ideal and safe walking surface, less able and children should not attempt the walk along the walls. There are many access points to the walls around the town and the western side provides the best views of the town and out towards the coast.
History of Obidos Castle and City Walls
The original castle was constructed by the Arab Moors after their invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century. The town prospered and grew until the Christian conquest of Obidos in 1148 (6 months after the fall of Lisbon). The fort was strengthened during the rule of King Dinis I (1279-1325) who added limestone block work and marble decoration. The present day keep was built by Fernando I (1345-1383) but it was King Manuel I (1469 - 1521) who added the final decoration. The importance of the castle from this era waned and was severely damaged by the 1755 earthquake so that by the 20th century it was a complete ruin.
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