Idea #719 – Visiting the first capital of Portugal in Guimarães
The exceptionally well-preserved historic center of Guimarães, in the Braga district of northern Portugal, is often considered to be the cradle of Portuguese nationality. The history of Guimarães is closely associated with the formation of the national identity of Portugal and the Portuguese language. The city was the feudal territory of the Portuguese dukes who declared independence from Portugal in the middle of the 12th century.
Founded in the 4th century, Guimarães became the first capital of Portugal in the 12th century. Its historic center is an extremely well preserved and authentic example of the evolution of a medieval establishment into a modern city, the rich typology of the buildings illustrating the particular evolution of Portuguese architecture from the 15th to the 19th century thanks to the use system of traditional building materials and techniques. The variety of this typology of buildings testifies to the responses provided to the changing needs of the community. A particular type of construction developed here in the Middle Ages was widely used in the Portuguese colonies of the time. It consisted of a granite ground floor surmounted by a half-timbered construction, a technique exported to the Portuguese colonies in Africa and the New World, becoming their distinctive feature.
The historic center of Guimarães stands out in particular for the integrity of all of its historic buildings. The period from 950 to 1498 is illustrated in particular by the two poles around which Guimarães began to develop, namely the castle to the north and the monastic complex to the south. The period 1498-1693 was characterized by noble residences and the development of public services, public squares, etc. Despite some improvements in the modern era, the historic center of Guimarães has retained its medieval urban layout. The continued use of traditional techniques, maintenance and progressive adaptation have contributed to the exceptionally harmonious development of the urban landscape.
Where is it ?
Guimaraes, Braga, Portugal.