Each Portuguese city that includes a queen in its founding history turns out to be extraordinary, and so is the bustling centre of Caldas da Rainha – a lovely network of traditional shopping streets, modern bakeries and traditional bistrôs reflecting what’s best to enjoy in the city.
The Queen’s Baths
After listening over and over the advice of local residents, the first queen of the recent independent Portugal – Leonor I – took a bath in the whiffy hot springs, in a place nearby the Óbidos castle.
Immediately convinced of the healing properties of these waters the queen founded a thermal hospital on site that gave name to the village that settled around these special hotsprings “Queen’s Baths”.
The Founding Pillars
The royal influence and the natural clay deposits of the surrounding areas, were the reasons for the prosperity and development of Caldas da Rainha. Since a very early stage of its existence the city evolved with ceramics, pottery arts and utilities that still nowadays give a sense of local identity.
Caldas da Rainha is slightly ‘under the radar’ of the Portuguese mainstream tourism attractions, starting slowly to uncover its own potential.
Events, Arts & Design
Its central location in the Western Portuguese region, as well as its proximity to Óbidos, makes the city easily discoverable.
During the last decade several artistic movements flourished with the support of local entrepreneurs, and together largely contributed to increase the city’s cultural dynamic.
Don’t miss the city’s gorgeous park with its fauna, plane tree avenues and the ceramics outlet of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro. Wake up early and pay a visit to the remarkable daily farmers market, existing at the same square since the late 19th century.