Óbidos Municipality

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Coordinates: 39°21′29″N 9°9′28″W / 39.35806°N 9.15778°W / 39.35806; -9.15778
Óbidos
Municipality (Concelho)
Obidos 03.JPG
The medieval wall of the Castle of Óbidos dividing the town from the rest of the municipality
Flag
Coat of arms
Official name: Concelho de Óbidos
Country  Portugal
Region Centro
Subregion Oeste
District Leira
Municipality Óbidos
Civil Parishes A dos Negros, Amoreira, Gaeiras, Olho Marinho, Santa Maria, São Pedro, Sobral da Lagoa, Usseira, Vau
Center Óbidos
 - elevation 49 m (161 ft)
 - coordinates 39°21′29″N 9°9′28″W / 39.35806°N 9.15778°W / 39.35806; -9.15778
Lowest point Sea level
 - location Atlantic Ocean
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Length 20.97 km (13 mi), Northwest-Southeast
Width 12.55 km (8 mi), North-South
Area 141.55 km2 (55 sq mi)
Population 10,875 (2001)
Density 76.82 / km2 (199 / sq mi)
Settlement c. 1195
LAU Concelho/Câmara Municipal
President Telmo Henrique Correia Daniel Faria (PPD-PSD)
Municipal Chair Feliciano José Barreiras Duarte (PPD-PSD)
Timezone WET (UTC0)
 - summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
ISO 3166-2 code PT-
Postal Zone 2510-086 Óbidos
Area Code & Prefix (+351) 295 XXX XXX
Demonym Obidense
Patron Saint Santa Maria
Municipal Address Edifício dos Paços do Concelho, Largo de S. Pedro
2510-086 Óbidos
Municipal Holidays 11 January
Location of the municipality of Óbidos in continental Portugal
Wikimedia Commons: Óbidos
Website: http://www.cm-obidos.pt
Statistics from INE (2001); geographic detail from Instituto Geográfico Português (2010)

Óbidos is a municipality of 10,875 inhabitants (2001), in the Oeste Subregion of the Centro Region in continental Portugal (part of the older district of Leiria), its municipal seat is the town of Óbidos. The municipality covers an area of 141.55 km², bounded by in the northeast and east by Caldas da Rainha, in the south by Bombarral, in the southeast by Lourinhã, in the west by Peniche and fronting the Atlantic Ocean.

History[edit]

The Castle of Óbidos, Moorish fortifications taken during the Reconquista, as seen from the west

The origin of the municipality had its beginnings in an early Roman settlement near the foothills of an elevated escarpment. The region of Óbidos, that extended from the Atlantic to the interior of the Estremadura Province. along the rivers and lakes, has been inhabited since the late Paleolithic.[1] A settlement was constructed by early Celt tribes, that was later a centre of trade for the Phoenicians.[1] Archeological evidence from the base of the medieval tower (south of Facho) at Óbidos Castle indicates that evidence of Roman construction, that is linked to an outpot of the Roman civitas of Eburobrittium, a large urban area that has been under excavation.[1]

On 11 January 1148, the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, supported by Gonçalo Mendes da Maia, took Óbidos from north African Arabs, after encircling their battlements.[1] Óbidos was then a Moorish outpost, protected by a pentagonal defensive line, but taken by the Portuguese it was a base for Templar raids.

With the gift of Óbidos, as a wedding gift between King Dinis and Queen Elizabeth, the settlement began to pertain to the Queen's patrimony; in fact, the village was referred to as the town of the Queens until 1834, since many of the royal consorts visited or stayed in Óbidos or regularly contributed funds to the settlement.[1] Queen Catherine constructed an aqueduct and fountain system during her stay.

Administrative reforms conducted by King Manuel I at Óbidos in 1513, included the institution of a formal charter and major requalification of the urban area.[1]

The 1755 earthquake caused damages to the walls of the village, a few temples and many buildings and resulting in the loss of Arab- or Medieval-inspire architecture.[1] Similarly, the Peninsular Wars were fought in the vicinity of Óbidos, including the Battle of Roliça, which was the liturgical centrer of the community.[1]

More recently, the village was a metro-pole and meeting place for those involved in the 1974 Carnation Revolution, linking it to the armed forces movement revolt.[1]

Geography[edit]

Administratively, the municipality is divided into nine civil parishes, that include:

Tourism[edit]

The town has a magnificent castle, now hosting a pousada. The municipality is also home to the well known and prestigious Praia D'el Rey golf complex, one of the top golf resorts in Europe.

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Óbidos Patrimonium (ed.). "Resumo Histórico" (in Portuguese). Óbidos, Portugal: Câmara Municipal de Óbidos.