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Literature is strained by the millenary walls of the Portuguese town of Óbidos

Literature has slipped into the walled enclosure of the Portuguese Óbidos, a millenary town that was reinvented through books and has become an essential visit to any bibliophile.

Óbidos (Portugal), 5 Sep (EFE) .- Literature has been sifted into the walled enclosure of the Portuguese Óbidos, a millennial village that was reinvented through books and has become an essential visit for any bibliophile.

About 70 kilometers from Lisbon, this historic and quiet medieval town of about 3,000 inhabitants has seen in the last years as books and bookstores settled in their most emblematic places, turning it into an authentic "literary town."

So far there are 14 bookstores that exist in the immense variety of spaces that make up "Óbidos Villa Literaria", project that started in 2013 and that in 2015 joined cities like Barcelona and Granada in the list of "Cities Literature ".

Since opening a bookstore would not be economically feasible, they decided to create a" book city "in Óbidos, because" it would have another attraction than a bookstore does not have, "José Pinho, of Lisbon's Ler Devagar and one of the promoters of the initiative, told EFE.

The libraries of Óbidos sought to go beyond the usual concept of this type of commerce and have been installed in iconic spaces of the medieval town characterized by their multifunctionality.

In this way, the unusual "Obidenses" libraries are also galleries, for work and study, wine bar, hotels, organic market and even a bus stop.

Pinho maintains that this sum of functions is fundamental, because before the easy and fast availability of today's books, libraries need "a complementary activity" to compete and be self-sufficient.

"Óbidos Villa Literaria" brought not only a new cultural dynamism to the historic villa but was crucial for its preservation and urban rehabilitation.

With the advent of literature it was possible to preserve one of the main monuments of Óbidos, the Church of São Tiago, whose revitalization is at the origin of this ambitious project.

This 12th century temple received a new life with the installation in its interior of the Santiago Bookstore, the first to be established in this central Portuguese town.

Literature also sneaked through the door of the post office building in Óbidos, built by the Portuguese king D. João V in 1748 and now is a bookstore and gallery.

The polyvalence that marks Óbidos Villa Literaria is especially evident in the market Biological.

In this space, once used as a municipal dining room, endless shelves full of used and rare books share a leading role with baskets with varied products

The books are also present in hotels such as "The Literary Man", considered the largest bookstore in Óbidos.

collection of approximately 40,000 books, many of them exposed for reading on the various shelves scattered inside the hotel, which also houses a library with works designed to academics and students.

With "imagination and persistence", this literary initiative became a success, according to José Pinho, who says that at the moment they are about to "to reach the point of balance" in financial terms.

This success has contributed to the organization of literary festivals in Óbidos, with the "Latitudes" contests, literature trips, and the International Literary Festival of Óbidos (Folio).

After two editions, the "Folio" became one of the main cultural events in Portugal and has the walled enclosure of Obidos to prominent names in literature such as the British Salman Rushdie or the Angolan José Eduardo Agualusa.

For its third edition, among the next 19 and October 27, the festival will associate with its congener of Granada and will receive various authors, including the Spaniards Fernando Aramburu and César Antonio Molina - Minister of Culture of Spain, the Argentine Mempo Giardinelli and the Colombian Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza.

According to Pinho, with these festivals "another public appeared in Óbidos", which remains longer in the town and in some cases it gets to sleep there, something "different from what is usual tourism in Óbidos," said Pinho.

According to one of the promoters of the initiative, with all these elements was possible "to mount a book market project with feasibility", which also translated "in a different pride" among the inhabitants of Óbidos.

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