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Visiting the Castle of Guimarães

By Ana Torres |

The grandness of Guimarães Castle resides in its simplicity. Come and fall in love with the beauty of this Portuguese architectural work.


The city of Guimarães in Portugal is located north of the Braga district. Its history has turned it into a touristic destination for those who enjoy photography as much as quiet walks along rich landscapes.


A Spanish nobleman whose family name was Vimara Pérez founded Guimarães in the ninth century. In fact, the city’s original name was Vimaranes, in honor of its founder, and in 1096 it was one of the first European cities to decreed regional laws. One of the monuments that reflect this noble city’s past is Guimarães Castle, around which the population fought the first battle against Spain for Portu Calem County’s independence. That’s why this city is considered the first symbolic capital of what would later become the Portuguese territory.


The castle was declared one of the Seven Portuguese Wonders in 2007 and it served as a cultural venue in 2012, a year in which the city was declared the Capital of European Culture. The beauty and history behind this building make it an important touristic attraction. Located at the top of Mount Latito, the castle served as dwelling and fortress because it represented the wealth and power of its inhabitants as well as the defenses against Moorish attacks.

The first Sunday of the month there is no entry fee to visit the castle and you can find it simply by walking around 20 minutes from downtown Guimarães to Mount Latito, also known as Sacred Hill. If you like to follow pre-established routes, take one of the many maps of the city that are distributed throughout the touristic area downtown. However, if you’d rather improvise, don’t hesitate to ask the locals for directions. You’ll be surprised to discover how many varied and interesting additional stops they’ll suggest.

Before climbing up the hill, DINKtravelers suggests fueling up with a snack. It’s a great idea to stop at one of the small restaurants found near the foothills and contemplate the great colossus of Medieval architecture from the terraces. The castle has seven towers with battlements but the tallest one is the Homage Tower that is 28 meters (90 ft.) tall. Inside, you’ll be surrounded by absolute peace while you visit the site. Start on the first floor where you’ll find the central courtyard with its tall columns. Later, on the second floor you’ll have the chance to visit the chapel with its fine stained glass windows as well as the royal chambers. Don’t miss the opportunity to embrace yourself with history. Visit Guimarães.