Guimaraes

Overview

Introduction

Guimaraes, located 30 mi/50 km northeast of Porto, was the first capital of Portugal. It's a medieval town with a 10th-century castle—Portugal's first king was born there. The town has many ancient monuments, as well as the interesting Alberto Sampaio Museum, which displays many artifacts from medieval times.

A stroll around the historic center will reveal quaint medieval houses with beams and balconies, attractive squares filled with cafes and a wealth of architecture. Among the best squares are Largo da Oliveira and Largo do Toural.

Also worth a visit is the many-chimneyed ducal palace commissioned by the first Duke of Braganca. As well as its architectural features, it contains splendid examples of period furnishings. For sweeping views of the city, take the cable car or drive up to Penha Park.

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