The Citadel Translated
Surrounded by walls, this Estremadura village is living testimony of a past full of history and of important events that have marked the country.
Since the conquest of the Moors by our first king on 11 January 1148 to the advent of liberalism, Óbidos lived an exceptional past in the national context. One of the most important moments was when King D. Dinis offered Óbidos as a wedding gift to his wife, who would thereafter be immortalized as the Holy Queen.
As the village now belonged to the house of the Queens of Portugal, fame and glory followed and this sponsorship by the sovereign brought social works, religious patrimony and administrative power to an important part of the territory today known as Oeste.
Scientific research testifies to the introduction of morello cherry trees in the country by the Greeks or the Romans; others defend that the tree/bush was already in existence in our lands although of different variations. What is certain is that several convents existed in the region, religious institutions that mainly in the XVII century had a crucial role in the development of what is today our gastronomy, with its variations of confectionery and liqueur production.
The abundance of fruit, particularly in the village of Sobral da Lagoa, is believed to have influenced the production of liqueurs. This is an easily defended thesis considering the legacy that these religious institutions left in our alimentary habits.
Our Mediterranean diet always included a glass of good brandy or liqueur at the end of a meal. The introduction ofGinjinha in our alimentary habits probably happened very early on, as the silence of the convent walls was broken by the advent of Liberalism, and the abundance of fruit generalised home production.
Evolving tastes and palates demanded a liqueur that, respectful of tradition, is a delicious digestive drink, natural and smooth.
The production of homemade Ginja is a tradition that comes from early times in the region. Enjoying a glass of Ginja in taverns is a strong Portuguese habit that became more sophisticated and was immortalized in Óbidos history by José Duarte Ferreira Montez (1905-1979). Men of poor origins arrived in Óbidos to work in the gypsum mines of an ancient industrial Portuguese company.
Because of his astuteness and business acumen, he quickly understood the potential for the village of the number of visitors it received, opening the first bar more than fifty years ago and therefore contributing towards immortalizing the idea of sharing a Ginja de Óbidos in a comfortable and refined environment. Thanks to Montez (as he became known in local history), his commercial vision that gave origin to the sale of a glass of Ginja with the opening of the first bar in the village, associated forever the image of Óbidos and this liqueur, making it the village’s ex-libris for decades and also its most charismatic product. Oppidum, in its capacity as producer, has taken on the responsibility of maintaining this Óbidos tradition.
Óbidos nightlife, ‘Noite de Óbidos’, has left its mark on previous generations and continues to attract to the village nationals and foreigners alike who come to enjoy the calm and pitoresque environment of its bars, often with new friendships being made over a glass of Ginja at the table.
The trademark Oppidum comes from a possible name that the castle and surrounding hamlet went by in ancient times, before evolving into the name we know today: Óbidos.