The City of Guimarães is located in the North Region of Portugal. Guimarães is one of the most important cities in Portugal.
Often referred to as the “Cradle City”. Here was born, by tradition, the first King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques.
This City of over a Millennium, has been the main center of government’s of Portucalense. It’s Historic Center was considered in 2001, Cultuural Heritage of Humanity.
It’s historical Monuments and Streets enchant the visitors. It was elected my the New York Times, one of the 41 places to visit in 2011, as well has the Iberian Peninsula. Guimarães was the origin of Portugal today. It’s people are proudly be treated as “Conquerors”.
If you are looking for a charming and historical city to visit in Portugal, you should not miss Guimarães, often referred to as the cradle of the Portuguese nationality. Guimarães is where Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, was born and established his administrative base in 1128. He was also known as Afonso the Conqueror or Afonso the Founder, as he fought against his mother and her allies for independence from León and expanded his territory by defeating the Moors. He declared himself King of Portugal in 1139 and secured official recognition from León in 1143 with the Treaty of Zamora. He ruled until his death in 1185.
Guimarães has a well-preserved historic center that is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can admire the medieval architecture, stroll along the cobblestone streets, and visit some of the most important monuments of Portuguese history.
Here are some of the top things to do in Guimarães:
- Visit the Castle of Guimarães, where Afonso Henriques was born and where he fought against his mother for independence from León. The castle is one of the symbols of Portugal and offers stunning views over the city.
- Explore the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, a magnificent 15th-century residence that was restored in 1937 by dictator Salazar to house his official visits. The palace displays an impressive collection of furniture, tapestries, paintings, and weapons.
- Discover the Church of São Miguel do Castelo, a small Romanesque chapel where Afonso Henriques was baptized. The church is located next to the castle and has a simple but elegant interior.
- Wander around Largo da Oliveira (Olive Tree Square), one of the most picturesque spots in Guimarães. Here you can see some beautiful examples of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, such as Nossa Senhora da Oliveira Church and Padrão do Salado (a Gothic shrine commemorating a victory over Moors).
- Enjoy some local cuisine at one of the many restaurants and cafes in Guimarães. You can try some typical dishes such as rojões (fried pork chunks), bacalhau à Zé do Pipo (codfish with mashed potatoes), or papas de sarrabulho (a stew made with blood, meat, bread, and spices).
Guimarães is a city that will enchant you with its history, culture, and beauty. It is easy to reach by train or bus from Porto or Braga. You can spend a day or more exploring this fascinating place that gave birth to Portugal.