Impressions of Guimarães
Impressions of Guimarães

The twin town of Guimarães is located 45 km north east from Porto in the region of Braga. It is considered to be the cradle of Portugal because in Guimarães D.Alfonso Henriques defeated the Castillian troops in the battle of São Mamede on 24 June 1128 and subsequently gained independence for the province of Portugalense. It is said that thus he set the cornerstone for the country of Portugal.

The place of his birth, the castle of Guimarães, the “Castelo” is one emblem of the town. Historic witnesses of a significant past are for example “the Palace of the Dukes of Bragança”, the Convent Church “Ingreja de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira” and the “Convento de Santa Clara”. The latter one was one of the wealthiest convents of the city during the

16th century and is hosting the municipal administration today.

The medieval city centre has been classified UNESCO World Heritage since 2001.

Apart from this historic importance, Guimarães is renowned for culture and sport as well as for its scientific excellence. Even beyond the borders of Portugal the university enjoys a high reputation in the field of information technology.

Guimarães is also known for its contemporary architecture. One of the most important buildings in this context is “the Platform of Arts and Creativity” which was designed as an infrastructural project. The old market of Guimarães was transformed to a multifunctional urban space. The Platform of Arts and Creativity is offering space and equipment for artistic, cultural, economic and social activities.

The Penha Mountain located at five kilometres from the city centre is said to be the green lung of Guimarães. Going up by cable car to this place of religious importance you will enjoy an impressing panorama. A wide range of leisure activities has made the Penha Mountain an important place of recreation in our days.

On the European scheme the Portuguese twin town was in the centre of interest in 2012 being European Capital of Culture and in 2013 being a European City of Sports.

The town twinning agreement was sealed in Guimarães on 24 June 2000 in presence of the Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio.