Imagine a village or a small town that is looking almost like in medieval times. There is no street lighting (only a few lamps installed on buildings), no satellite antennas. Steep, narrow streets are plastered with small stones. There are no street signs. Only a few movables outdoors (like cars) remind you of modern times. It is not a museum, and it is still inhabited. There is much greenery growing in between walls. Buildings are not refurbished at least from outside. The walls are white (if not refurbished: quite dirty), with only small strips of color put on them.
You can see all of these in a small city of Óbidos, a well-preserved example of medieval architecture located in Portugal.
Óbidos has a long and fascinating history that dates back to the Roman era. The town was originally called Eburobrittium and was an important Roman administrative center. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Óbidos was ruled by various Germanic tribes until the arrival of the Moors in the 8th century.
In the 12th century, Óbidos was conquered by the Christian forces of King Afonso Henriques, who established a defensive castle in the town to protect the region from Moorish incursions. The castle and town walls were further expanded and fortified during the reigns of subsequent kings, including Dinis I, who made Óbidos a royal gift to his wife, Queen Isabel.
Throughout the Middle Ages, Óbidos was an important strategic town in the defense of the Portuguese kingdom against invaders. In the 16th century, the town suffered significant damage during the invasion of the Spanish Armada, and was later rebuilt in the Baroque style.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Óbidos saw significant economic decline, and many of its inhabitants emigrated to other parts of Portugal and overseas. In the 1950s and 60s, however, the town underwent significant restoration and preservation efforts, helping to revive its cultural and historical importance.
We visited this city in August. The Internet resources say however that in July for two weeks, the town turns back medieval with additional decorations and entertainers dressed as in past times.