What to see in Guimaraes in one day, the medieval town where Portugal was born

On the wall of Guimaraes reads the inscription ” Aqui Nasceu Portugal “. And it is that this fascinating city with a historic center World Heritage Site is considered the cradle of Portugal since the battle was fought here in which Alfonso Enriques, who was also a native of Guimaraes, won and proclaimed himself the first king of Portugal.

Guimaraes is very close to Porto, in the district of Braga, so it is a good option to visit in one day from there and also get to know nearby Braga.

Here we are going to tell you what to see in Guimaraes in one day.

What to see in Guimaraes in one day

1. Strolling through the old town of Guimaraes

What to see in GuimaraesAs we have said before, the old town of Guimaraes was declared a World Heritage Site and its visit is essential.

At one end of the Largo República do Brasil, the historic area of ​​Guimaraes begins and you quickly immerse yourself in one of the best preserved medieval centers in Portugal.

Leaving aside the remains of the old wall and the Alberto Sampaio Museum, which houses the artistic heritage of an old collegiate church and other churches, we arrive at Largo de Oliveira, the main square to visit in Guimaraes and where all the hustle and bustle of Guimaraes is concentrated. this city.

What to visit in GuimaraesIn this square we find the Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, from the 13th century and which was founded by Alfonso Henriques himself.

Next to it is the Padrão do Salado, erected to commemorate the victory in the Battle of Salado in which the Spanish and Portuguese troops fought together.

The Largo de Oliveira is linked through arches to the Plaza de Santiago, both forming an indescribable ensemble whose beauty can only be admired while there.

Now is the time to wander around discovering churches, convents, stately homes and any corner of this beautiful city.

2. Guimaraes Castle and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza

guimaraes-castleFollowing the Rua de Santa María, admiring its buildings such as the Municipal Chamber and several very beautiful churches, we reach the upper part of the city, where the Guimaraes Castle is located.

Guimaraes Castle dates from the 10th century and is considered one of the 7 wonders of Portugal.

The castle, where Alfonso Henriques was born, is very well preserved and it is possible to visit its interior and climb the battlements and some of the towers, from where there are very good views.

guimaraes-palace-dukes-braganzaNext to it, going almost unnoticed by the majesty of the castle, is the small Chapel of San Miguel, the place where the man who would later become the first King of Portugal was baptized.

The Palace of the Dukes of Braganza is also in this area and is an authentic architectural jewel that you should not miss. It dates from the 15th century and is a great example of stately architecture where you have to admire the furniture, the beautiful ceilings and the spectacular tapestries.

It is currently also the residence of the President of Portugal when he must travel to the north of the country.

3. Outside the walls of Guimaraes

guimaraes-largo-republic-brazilFrom the castle area and going back through the old town of Guimaraes we can leave it and end up in Largo Republica do Brasil.

This avenue is one of the typical images of the city, highlighting at one of its ends the Church of Our Lady of Consolaçao and Santos Passos, which with its two towers seems to admire the old town from afar.

From there starts another avenue with a central alameda that leaves the old town to one side and leads to another of the main squares of the city, the Largo do Toural, where a cattle market was once held.

guimaraes-here-nasceu-portugalIn it we can admire the typical architecture of Guimaraes, with the Church of San Pedro, and right next to it the piece of wall where the famous legend “Aqui Nasceu Portugal” appears.

And finally, if you want to see the city from above, you can climb Monte da Penha. You can do it in your own car or also by cable car. There is a sanctuary and an extensive leisure area for the whole family to enjoy.

You can find more information on the official Guimaraes tourism page.

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