Historic Centre of Guimarães

Guimarães, Portugal

The historic town of Guimarães is associated with the emergence of the Portuguese national identity in the 12th century. An exceptionally well-preserved and authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern town, its rich building typology exemplifies the specific development of Portuguese architecture from the 15th to 19th century through the consistent use of traditional building materials and techniques. Guimarães historic town centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.

Founded in the 4th century, Guimarães became the first capital of Portugal in the 12th century. Its historic centre is an extremely well preserved and an authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern town, its rich building typology exemplifying the specific development of Portuguese architecture from the 15th to the 19th centuries through the consistent use of traditional building materials and techniques. This variety of different building types documents the responses to the evolving needs of the community. A particular type of construction developed here in the Middle Ages was used widely in the then Portuguese colonies. It featured a ground floor in granite with a half-timbered structure above, a technology that was transmitted to Portuguese colonies in Africa and the New World, becoming their characteristic feature.

The Historic Centre of Guimarães is distinguished in particular for the integrity of its historically authentic building stock. Examples from the period from 950 to 1498 include the two anchors around which Guimarães initially developed, the castle in the north and the monastic complex in the south. The period from 1498 to 1693 is characterized by noble houses and the development of civic facilities, city squares, etc. While there have been some changes during the modern era, the historic centre of Guimarães has maintained its medieval urban layout. The continuity in traditional technology and the maintenance and gradual change have contributed to an exceptionally harmonious townscape.

 

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Founded: 12th century
Category: Historic city squares, old towns and villages in Portugal

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Cees (10 months ago)
A very nice, small, historical town with interesting historical buildings and everything within walking distance. Enough pastelarias to plan a place to enjoy rest, coffee and the famous Portugese pastries and savouries. Outside the center there is a commercial center with a nice food court.
Alex Shervington (10 months ago)
Beautiful historical city, fabulous place to visit. Highly recommended.
Olivera L (11 months ago)
A very charming Old town. Clean, lively, with many architectural quirks. Could use a few more info signs.
Kaleigh Leigh (12 months ago)
I love the history of Portugal and finally had a well informed tour of the Guimaraes castle.
Amin (2 years ago)
Beautiful Must visit 1 day atleast if you visit Porto or North of Portugal
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