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Óbidos is a town and a municipality in the Oeste Subregion in Portugal. The town proper has approximately 3100 inhabitants.

The area of the old town is located on a hilltop, encircled by a fortified wall. Óbidos remains a well-preserved example of medieval architecture; its streets, squares, walls and its castle are a popular tourist destination. The castle now houses a pousada (hotel).

The name "Óbidos" is a Latinised (oppidum, citadel) derivation of the older Celtic "Eburobricio". The municipality had its growth from a Roman settlement near the foothills of an elevated escarpment. The region of Óbidos, extending from the Atlantic to the interior of Estremadura Province along the rivers and lakes has been inhabited since the late Paleolithic. A settlement was constructed by early Celt tribes, that was later a centre of trade for the Phoenicians.

The area was taken from the Moors by the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, in 1148. The retaking of Óbidos was a final stage in the conquest of the Estremadura region, after the settlements of Santarém, Lisbon and Torres Vedras. Following taking control of the region, the settlement received its first foral (charter) in 1195, during the reign of King Sancho I.

In 1210, King Afonso II gave the title of this village to Queen Urraca. Since then, Óbidos has often been patronized by the Queens of Portugal, giving rise to its informal title as Vila das Rainhas (English: town of the Queens); several royal consorts enriched the village with donations from the Middle Ages until the 16th century.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9946 W: 63 N: 27975] (123040)
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