Guimaraes is a city and municipality in northwestern Portugal in the province of Minho and in the district of Braga. Guimaraes was the first capital of Portugal, and it is also called the Place of Birth of the Portuguese Nation. The reason for this is that it was the hometown of the first king of Portugal, Don Afonso Henriques, and many important events that led to the independence of our country happened in Guimaraes.
The town is a great place to visit. It has an historical centre with many old houses and monuments.
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With its historical center declared recently a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Guimaraes adds this mark of honour to another title it displays by right, that of birthplace of the nation. Its proud and dominating castle was where Portugals first king, Afonso Henriques, was born in the 12th century.
The Palace of the Dukes of Bragana (15th century), the magnificent monastery and church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira (with the Alberto Sampaio Museum housed in the beautiful Romanesque cloister), the 14th-century Padrao do Salado (a Gothic shrine) or the elegant church of St. Francis, with its dazzling 18th-century decorated tiles, are only some of the many monuments to admire.
At about 5 km from the city, the former monastery of Santa Marinha da Costa (XII Century) is one of the country’s most sumptuous pousadas (state-run inns), with the gardens and the chapel open to the public.