“Castelo de Guimarães” (Guimarães Castle) is located in the historic centre of the city of Guimarães, Portugal.
It is classified as a national monument since 1910. In 2007, it was classified as one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
Guimarães Castle is considered a symbol of the birth of Portugal.
The Castle was built in the 10th century by order of the Countess Mumadona Dias with the purpose of defending the monastery previously built by her order.
One century later, “Henrique de Borgonha” (Henry of Burgundy), Count of Portugal, moved into Guimarães Castle with his wife. Probably, his son, Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, was born there. The Castle suffered a renovation at that time.
With the military progress, the Castle lost its significance and, in the 16th century, it served as a prison. For that reason, in 1836, a group of people defended its demolition and the use of its stones to pave the streets of Guimarães. Fortunately, such suggestion was not accepted.
During the reign of D. Luís, in 1881, the Castle was classified as a first class Historical Monument.
Guimarães Castle was scene of several warlike episodes, such as the Guimarães siege, in 1127, and the Battle of St. Mamede, in 1128.
In 1127 Afonso VII, King of Leon and Castile, attempted to claim vassalage from Dom Afonso Henriques. His chamberlain, Egas Moniz, assured the King his master’s vassalage. The siege was raised, but Dom Afonso Henriques didn’t keep the promise made by Egas Moniz. Therefore, the chamberlain went with his family to the Kingdom of Leon, with a rope around their necks, to offer their lives as a ransom for the word given.
The Battle of St. Mamede, waged between Afonso Henriques and his mother, Dona Teresa, contributed to the independence of Portugal, admitted in 1143.
Tuesday to Sunday: 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Closed: Mondays, 1 January, Easter Sunday, 1 May and 25 December
Castle: free entrance
Keep Tower: 1.5€