Praça de Santa Maria (Óbidos)

Square in Óbidos

Praça De Santa Maria (Óbidos)
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Vitor Oliveira

Praça de Santa Maria is a historic square located in the center of the town of Óbidos, Portugal. The square is surrounded by beautiful buildings that date back to the medieval period and reflect the town’s rich history and cultural heritage. Praça de Santa Maria is also home to a number of cafes and restaurants, where visitors can enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine and drinks while taking in the square’s charming ambiance. Throughout the year, the square hosts a variety of cultural events, including festivals, concerts, and exhibitions. During the Christmas season, the square is decorated with festive lights and hosts a popular Christmas market. Overall, Praça de Santa Maria is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Óbidos. It offers a glimpse into the town’s fascinating history and is a great place to relax, socialize, and enjoy the local culture.

Notable Buildings in Praça de Santa Maria (Óbidos)

Praça de Santa Maria – Church of Santa Maria

One of the most notable buildings on the square is the Church of Santa Maria, a Gothic-style church that was built in the 13th century. The church features beautiful stained glass windows, carved stone altars, and a bell tower that offers stunning views of the town and surrounding countryside.

Praça de Santa Maria – Town Hall

Another important building on the square is the Town Hall, a Renaissance-style building that was constructed in the 16th century. The Town Hall features a beautiful façade with a clock tower and a balcony that is often used for public speeches and events.

Praça de Santa Maria – Pillory

The Praça de Santa Maria in Óbidos, Portugal, is also home to a historic pillory. A pillory, also known as a whipping post or a stocks, was a device used in the medieval period to punish offenders by publicly humiliating them.

The pillory on Praça de Santa Maria dates back to the 15th century and is considered one of the finest examples of its kind in Portugal. It features a round base with steps leading up to a cylindrical column topped with a statue of a rooster, which was a common symbol of justice during that time.

The pillory was once used to punish a variety of crimes, including theft, fraud, and dishonesty. Offenders were often chained to the device and subjected to public ridicule, jeering, and even physical abuse from the crowds that gathered around them.

Today, the pillory serves as a reminder of Óbidos’ rich history and is a popular attraction for tourists visiting the town. It is a testament to the town’s past as a center of commerce and justice, and its enduring legacy as a symbol of Portugal’s cultural heritage.

The Praça de Santa Maria (Óbidos) appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Óbidos!

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Visiting Praça de Santa Maria (Óbidos)

Address: Praça de Santa Maria, Óbidos, Portugal
Duration: 1 hours

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