The aqueduct was a gift of a queen to the town of Óbidos
Commissioned by Queen Catherine of Austria (wife of Portugal’s King João III) in 1573, this aqueduct carried drinking water for the people of Óbidos. Its arches crossed 3km of vineyards and orchards, starting in a spring in nearby Usseira, and its water ended up in the town’s fountains, like the one you see below the pillory in the main square.
The queen paid for the monument herself, by selling her lands around Óbidos. It was restored in the 1600s, and survived the great earthquake of 1755. You’ll see it as soon as you arrive in Óbidos, and it’s completely intact. The area around it is now used as a parking lot, and is where many tourists leave their car. The town gate is just across the road.