2019 #Guimarães | Portugal was born here
Updated: Jan 8, 2020
Aqui Nasceu Portugal is referred to "birthplace of the Portuguese nationality" as it is widely believed that Portugal's first King #AfonsoHenriques 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.
The town is a nice destination for one day trip from Porto, if you have time (I suggest to plan a spare day in advance). To reach #Guimarães from Porto is easy by car in about 45 min by highway. From Porto first direction is Braga, then just following Guimarães exit. Once arriving to the center (#googlemap shows it perfectly) underground parking can be found easily, there are 2 parking slots on both sides of the main road, which is finishes just in front main entrance to downtown (residential cars only area).
The historic downtown is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. The population of Guimarães is a bit more than 50.000 people, so it’s a very small and cozy place. There is no chance to get lost inside as the downtown is so small, even though there are few narrow and a bit dark streets, but all of them anyway are heading from the main entrance to Guimarães Castle, which is by the way a must visit once you’re there.
Walking around the downtown is relaxing, quiet place with a lot of beautiful buildings...
...and small charming squares, where local people are sitting on the benches and chatting (yes, in real personal conversation, not chatting in messenger) or meeting at the hairdressers talking about the latest news of the day.
An amazing church Nossa Senhora is located on the beautiful square #Oliveira, where a lot of tapas bars and restaurants are open for lunch and dinner.
If you catch up the sunny day, then take a chance to chill out on the square with a glass of #wine, cup of coffee or tasty Portuguese lunch...
It seems the time just stops here and that medieval spirit still lives in every stone.
A street up from the square will give you a typical Portugese environmental feeling like azulejos, statues, small staircases...
...and it’s heading to the Duke of Braganza’s Palace. A large medieval palace has been built in 15th century, then ruined and then restored back. It was classified as a National Monument in the beginning of 20th century, and has been an official residence for the Presidency. Didn’t come inside as it was late in time already, but believe it should be interesting there.
In a hundred meters away there is a #Castle of Guimarães other big attraction of the city.
The castle is very small, you can come inside (adult ticket 8€) to see the walls and a museum in the tower. Walking along the walls inside the castle gives the best 360 degrees view in the town.
The Palace of Braganza’s looks magical from the Castle walls side.
Local teenagers play real medieval games around the Castle and Braganza’s Palace, I bet it’s a way better than #CallOfDuty.
Catching sunset time for Castle visiting is a #lifehack fantastic panorama is guaranteed.