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Óbidos is one of Pará’s cities that has a sister city in Portugal.  On the European continent, one can also find a place known as Vila de Óbidos, 95 kilometers from Lisbon.  Aside from its name, Pará’s Óbidos also inherited many characteristics from the colonizing Portuguese.  The narrow and steep streets, the corner general stores, and the lofty row houses dating from the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, all help paint a portrait of Portugal in the middle of Amazonia.  The city, located at the narrowest and deepest section of the Amazon River, is a fascinating gem for anyone who likes history, adventure, and nature.

To walk along the streets of Óbidos is to go back in time.  Each one of her monuments tells a little about the history of the city, founded around the year 1697.  The Pauxis Fort, a symbol of the founding of the county, is one of these historic monuments.  At the exact place where the Pauxis Indian tribe lived, the fort was erected, and can be seen by boat upon arriving in Óbidos.  The location was selected as a strategic point for maintaining Portuguese dominion over Amazonia, since it is at the narrowest point of the Amazon River (1.8 km) as well as the deepest point (around 75 meters).  Following the construction of the fort, any passing vessel was required to stop and pay taxes to the Portuguese Crown.

From the Pauxis Fort, it is still possible to see the Escama Range, where the Gurjão Fortress was erected, built to guard and defend the region from invaders.  Aside from its historical importance, the range, with its still virgin forest, is an excellent option for adventure lovers.

Another important symbol of historical importance for the city is the Army Cartel, where the then Lieutenant Leônidas Cardoso, father of former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, served after the Tenentismo military revolution.  Its construction, dating back to 1909, was declared by the state government as a historic, artistic, and cultural landmark.

The lovely row houses in the Portuguese style are also on the historic itinerary of Óbidos.  There are dozens of them throughout the city.  Some, located on the corners, are commercial buildings, others are homes.  Owing to the building materials and styles brought from Portugal, Óbidos is considered the most Portuguese city on the equatorial line.

The history of Óbidos is in its streets, told by plaques placed on the historic buildings themselves.  It is the Contextual Museum, the idea of the State Executive Secretary’s Office of Culture, and developed in partnership with the Federal University of Pará.  On the façades of the most significant monuments in the city, one finds a plaque with information narrating their stories.  One can read about the construction, the owners and residents, along with other interesting facts.  One can also see photos from the past.  Here, history is preserved in open air.

 

GEOGRAPHICAL COORDINATES:

01º 55´ 03" South Lattitude
55º 31' 05" West Longitude

ALTITUDE:

45 meters (at the city hall)

CLIMATE: Equatorial, hot and humid

POPULATION: 46,490

LAND AREA: 26,825.5 km2

 

   

 

     
   

Data for the population of Óbidos, Pará, Brazil


Counties

Resident Population, Sex, and Housing Type

Resident Population, 10 years of age or older

Total

Men

Women

Urban

Rural

Total

Literate

Literacy Rate
(%)

All Pará

6,192,307

3,132,768

3,059,539

4,120,693

2,071,614

4,650,618

3,891,029

83.7

Óbidos

46,490

24,134

22,356

22,978

23,512

34,256

29,282

85.5

Source: IBGE 2000 Demographic Census

 

 

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