The former church faces the town gate
The small church of St. John the Baptist was initially dedicated to St. Vincent, when Queen Isabel had it built in 1309 on the site of an old Visigothic temple. It stands outside the town walls, just a few feet from the main gate. In the Middle Ages it served as a place of worship for those suffering from leprosy and lived in the connected leprosorium.
Its current appearance results from restoration works in the 16th century, and while it maintains a beautifully painted altar, its notable seven-piece retable from 1540 showing the Martyrdom of St. Vincent has been moved to the Municipal Museum. That retable was replaced by a painting from the late 1700s, representing St. John the Baptist, on a golden rococo frame.
The museum shows pieces of art created for Óbidos' churches over the centuries
The church lost its importance as a place of worship in the 1800s and has been converted into the Parish Museum. It shows temporary exhibitions of the town’s rich artistic and religious heritage, with pieces from the different churches. Each exhibition lasts for about four to nine months, and is curated by the Municipal Museum and the parish priest.
The museum is free and closes on Mondays. On all other days it opens from 10am to 1pm, and from 2pm to 6pm.