Castelo de Óbidos (Portugal)
The Manueline style castle crowns the town and now houses guests in its luxurious rooms. In past times, however, this was a formidable medieval fortification. It was won back from the Moors in 1148 by the king and his men, apparently disguised as cherry trees, and lovingly restored after extensive damage in the 1755 earthquake. Equally interesting history is attached to the renaissance church, the Igreja de Santa Maria, where Prince Afonso V married his cousin aged ten and eight respectively. Here 17th century tiles adorn the walls which house a handsome example of renaissance tombs and paintings by the artist Josefa d’Óbidos.
The ramparts are traversed through an ornately tiled gateway and few vehicles bother negotiating the ancient streets, making it ideal for mooching around the higgledy piggledy houses and walkways, which in spring come alive with a cascading array of brightly coloured flowers. Local crafts, delicacies and liqueurs abound in the traditional shops which line the main street, including the famed local tipple Ginginha, a sweet brandy liqueur made with local cherries.