Guimarães is a city with a glorious historical past. Its history is connected to the foundation of the Portuguese national identity and the Portuguese language, way back in the 12th century.
The city has preserved its past as hometown of Dom Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal who was born in 1110. Also in this same location, the King has begun the offensive quest against the Moors.
Guimarães has an impressive historical centre with a unique architecture, a labyrinth of narrow streets and picturesque squares surrounded with medieval buildings. The whole historical centre has been classified as "World Heritage" by UNESCO in 2001 and is therefore included in their list of world heritage sites.
However, this town stands out not only for its historical treasures: it is also home to museums, plazas filled with cafés and restaurants with an extraordinary atmosphere. Furthermore, Guimarães is a "College City" and its students bring life to the entire region. Important to highlight is the celebration of youth’s “Gualterianas and City Festivities” where an ancient market is held, with popular dances, rock concerts, fireworks, parades and bullfighting.
The city also gains a special environment during the “Afonsina Festivities”: a medieval market taking place in June. In November, one of country’s biggest Jazz festivals, with a duration of three weeks is performed, also in Guimarães.
Some mandatory visiting places for those passing by through this city are: Palace of Duques de Bragança, Castle of Guimarães, Church of São Miguel do Castelo, Praça São Tiago, Gardens of the Palace of Vila Flor, Nossa Senhora da Oliveira Church, São Francisco Church , São Gualter Church , Alberto Sampaio Museum and the Martins Sarmento Archeological Museum.
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