Guimarães Castle is known in Portugal as a representation of the birth of the country. With its imposing presence, the castle is welcoming to tourists from all over the world, offering a glimpse into the medieval past of Portugal. Let’s take a look at the history behind Guimarães Castle, its architecture, and what you can expect when visiting.
The history of Guimarães Castle dates back to the 10th century when it played a pivotal role in the birth of Portugal as a nation. It was here that Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal, was born, and the castle served as the backdrop for his remarkable rise to power.
During the Middle Ages, Guimarães Castle served as a strategic stronghold, guarding the city and its surrounding territories. Its sturdy walls withstood numerous sieges and conflicts, including the wars against the Castilians and the Napoleonic invasions.
Today, the castle stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, proudly showcasing its historical significance.
Located on a small hill made of granite, the architecture of Guimarães Castle is a blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles. As you approach the castle, the massive stone walls and towers call your attention. Step through the arched gateways and you’ll find yourself transported back in time, surrounded by courtyards and imposing structures that once served as living quarters and defensive fortifications.
A noteworthy feature next to the southern tower is a bronze medallion depicting D. Afonso Henriques, positioned atop a large rock. Nearby, on the hillside, lies the Romanesque São Miguel do Castelo church, along with the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza.
Visiting Times & Tickets
Guimarães Castle is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm, with the last entrance at 5:30 pm. It is closed on January 1, Easter Sunday, December 25, and June 24. Tickets cost 2 euros.