Location: Oeste Subregion  Map


Description of Obidos

Medieval town of Obidos situated in Oeste Subregion of Portugal is most famous for its impressive fortified citadel that stands on a site of much older ancient Roman fortress. The name of medieval castle is actually derived from Latin term (language in the Ancient Rome) oppidum that can be translated as a "fortified settlement" or "fortress".


Ancient Roman fortress Obidos defended military garrison as well as civilian town. Roman city had all major buildings of a self- respected city. It had its own forum, public baths, pagan temples and etc. Obidos was apparently abandoned after barbarian tribe of Visigoths stormed Obidos Castle thus razing the city and its walls. Obidos was captured by the Arabs that used fortified city as a key strategic point of the defences. However in 1148 Obidos was re- captured in 1148 by King of Portugal Afonso Henriques. Local legends even saved a name of a knight who scaled the walls of the castle, Goncalo Mendes de Maia (aka O Lidador- The Hardworking). He became famous in many battles throughout Estremadura region and died fighting armies of Moors (Arabs) in 1170.

New owners of Obidos Castle increased the size of the citadel in the 12th and 13th centuries. In addition to military used Obidos was commonly served monarchs of Portugal for various weddings, parties and other celebrations. Eventually military fortifications lost its strategic importance. After earthquake of 1755 many of its structures were badly damaged. Castle was largely abandoned since then.