We headed to Guimaraes, a short drive away. It is regarded as the birth place of Portugal and this extensive history is reflected in the variety of national monuments and historic buildings found within the city. Largo Hill is to the north of the city and this area contains the most important historical monuments of Guimarães. Tourist attractions including the Castelo de Guimarães, the Braganza
Largo Hill is to the north of the city and this area contains the most important historical monuments of Guimarães. Tourist attractions including the Castelo de Guimarães, the Braganza Palace, and the Capela de São Miguel do Castelo.
Our first stop was the old little castle consisting of a wall around a single tower which is located on top of Largo Hill.
This castle defended the early city from Moors and Normans attacks.
We climbed the center single tower to enjoy a small exhibit of the violent history of Portugal and the Moors.
The view from the top of the castle was beautiful. We headed down to the palace…
Palace of Dukes of Braganza was built between 1420 and 1422 by Afonso, Count of Barcelos, the illegitimate son of John I of Portugal (and future Duke of Braganca). It was inspired by 14th century North European architecture. The austere interior has been restored and is filled with 17th century furniture and decorations.
The courtyard and chapel entrance, showing the Romanesque era portico and exaggerated influences dating from the Estado Novo era.
The palace fell into disrepair after the 16th century when the Duke moved to Vila Viçosa. This decline was accelerated when the locals began to use the palace as their personal quarry to build their own homes.
We walked around all the incredible rooms, we could only imagine the history and people that walked around these rooms.
Our last stop here was the small chapel inside the palace.
From there, we walked down into the exquisite old town, which Elly declared one of her favorites. Elly was also thrilled that she was actually feeling well after her SBA (Sudden Bathroom Attack) experience the day before.
‘The number of important historic monuments was recognized by UNESCO who declared the city a World heritage site in 2001.
Dan being Dan…
The town was super cute, thousands of colorful flags hang above you as you walk around narrow streets filled with restaurants and art shops.
We enjoyed a light meal in a lovely big square and returned to the car. However, we immediately got stuck behind a marching band of accordion players. Lots of them.
Guimarães has a significant historical importance due to the role it played in the foundation of Portugal. The city is often referred to as the “birthplace of the Portuguese nationality” or “the cradle city” because it is widely believed that Portugal’s first King, Afonso Henriques, was born there, and also due to the fact that the Battle of São Mamede – which is considered the seminal event for the foundation of the Kingdom of Portugal – was fought in the vicinity of the city.
After a delightful visit to this amazing city, we headed back to Porto for our last night there.
Bonus Pic Of The Day: We encountered a bunch of motorcyclists who looked like they were going to join the parade as well. Eventually, we got to the main road and returned to our hotel after 6:00.