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Guimarães, the Birthplace of Portugal

Guimarães, the Birthplace of Portugal

by Joaquim DeCarvalho

Guimarães is a city in northern Portugal that is considered to be the birthplace of the Portuguese nation. It was the capital of the County of Portugal in the 12th century and the home of the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques. The historic center of Guimarães is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and its role in the formation of the Portuguese identity. Additionally, Guimarães is also a center of culture, it has a rich cultural heritage, which is reflected in its museums, festivals, and traditional crafts.

Guimaraes Landmarks

Guimarães offers a variety of interesting sights and activities for visitors. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Guimarães include:

  1. The Castle of Guimarães: This medieval castle is one of the most important landmarks in the city and offers visitors a glimpse into its rich history.

  2. The Palace of the Dukes of Bragança: This impressive palace was built in the 14th century and serves as a testament to the city’s noble past.

  3. The Largo da Oliveira: This charming square is considered one of the most beautiful in Portugal and is surrounded by historic buildings and monuments.

  4. The Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira: This church is a fine example of Gothic architecture and is home to several interesting works of art.

  5. The Guimarães’ Old Town: The old town of Guimarães is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers visitors the opportunity to explore its narrow streets and charming houses.

  6. The Machado de Castro National Museum: The National Museum of Machado de Castro is located in the heart of Guimarães’ historical center and offers visitors the opportunity to see the art and artifacts from the region.

  7. The Guimarães’ Cultural Center: The Cultural Centre of Guimarães offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about the city’s art, culture and history through exhibitions, concerts, and other events.

  8. The Guimarães’ Roman Spa: The Roman Spa is a must-see for visitors interested in the history of Roman civilization in the Iberian Peninsula.

  9. The Guimarães’ University: The University of Guimarães is a modern and innovative institution, with a beautiful and modern architecture, that provides visitors an opportunity to experience the cultural and academic life of the city.

Guimaraes Gastronomy

The gastronomy of Guimarães is heavily influenced by the region’s agricultural heritage, with an emphasis on traditional dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Some of the most popular dishes from Guimarães include “cozido à portuguesa” (Portuguese stew), “chanfana” (goat stew), “tripas à moda do Minho” (tripe in the style of Minho), and “rojões” (pork and lard dish). The city is also known for its traditional sweet pastries, such as “toucinho do céu” (heavenly bacon) and “pão-de-ló” (sponge cake). Additionally, the region is known for its wine and has a strong viniculture tradition.