Guimarães Castle

Guimarães, Portugal

The Castle of Guimarães was built under the orders of Mumadona Dias in the 10th century to defend the monastery from attacks by Moors and Norsemen. At the end of the 11th century the castle was heavily expanded and remodeled, under the direction of Count Henry, to act as his residence. The castle became the official royal residence from 1139, when Portugal became independent from the Kingdom of León, until circa 1200. 

Between the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century, the castle was remodelled by King Denis, resulting in the form that stands to this day. In 1369, King Henry II of Castile invaded Portugal and encircled the castle of Guimarães, but was defeated by its population and forces. Sometime between 1383 and 1433, the two towers that flank the main entrance were order built by King John I of Portugal.

After the castle's demolition was abandoned in the 19th century, many of the houses, estates and lodgings around the castle were expropriated. The first attempts at restoration occurred during the mid-20th century.

Today Guimarães castle area is delineated by walls forming a pentagram, similar to a shield, that includes eight rectangular towers, military square and central keep. Originating in the foundations of a Roman structure, from the writings of Alfredo Guimarães, it was later elaborated on the French model, in its current the form of a shield, with reduced central yard and difficult accesses. It includes several Gothic characteristics, owing to its remodelling at the end of the 13th century, when the keep and residences were constructed (possibly over pre-existing structures).

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Guimarães, Portugal
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Founded: 10th century AD
Category: Castles and fortifications in Portugal

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Juanfe Dominguez (5 months ago)
It presents a really varied collection of items, but some of them aren't labeled. It's hard to spot and kind of far away for what it is. The best time to go is in the afternoon because its empty and you can take your time and really see everything. Good prices too, if you're a student.
Murtaza Khanbhai (6 months ago)
Interesting piece of history however not much is open. You can walk around the grounds of the castle in about 5-10 minutes. There is no signage or exhibits to view. I hope this area is improved in the future as it would greatly benefit from this and has an interesting story behind it
Judith Berns (7 months ago)
This was the greatest castle I've ever seen. I didn't buy a ticket to go in. Really enjoyed the fall color, all the different trees on the grounds and a key explaining what each tree is, and being up on a hill. Really an extraordinary place.
Zlaudio (10 months ago)
Used to be much cooler exhibition. They took away the weapons and catapult, maybe as a PC move. You can't erase the parts of history we don't like. Good access for disable people. Reasonable price and good discounts for students.
Ömercan Kulaklikaya (14 months ago)
You can buy €6 tickets both for the palace and the castle tours. Very well preserved castle. Takes about 10 minutes to visit. Great views.
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