Guimaraes - Portugal – C. X
Approx. Nº of pieces: 5.400
Difficulty degree: 6.5/10
Sizes (Mm.): 500 x 290 x 190
The monument and its history
The castle is a military fortification grounded primarily in the late Romanesque period, and elaborated during the early Gothic epoch of Portuguese architecture. Its area is delineated by walls forming a pentagram, similar to a shield, that includes eight rectangular towers, military square and central keep.
Emblematic of the medieval Portuguese castle, Guimarães is associated with the origins of the Portuguese nation.
At the end of the 11th century the castle was heavily expanded and remodelled, under the direction of Count D. Henrique, to act as his residence. The nobleman chose to destroy what remained from Mumadona's construction, while extending the area of the castle and adding two entrances. The castle became the official royal residence from 1139, when Portugal became independent.
Following years of family rivalries, in 1128, the Battle of São Mamede (realized within the fields of the same name) gave origin to the independence of Portucale and the formation of the nucleus of what would become Portugal.
Between the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century, the castle was remodelled by King Denis, resulting in the form that stands to this day.
In 1910, the castle was declared a national monument. In 1937, the General Service for National Buildings and Monuments started its restorations.
On 1 June 1992, the building became the property of the Instituto Português do Património Arquitetónico.
The castle is located within the northern limits of the urban area of Guimarães, isolated on a small hill formed from granite, and encircled by a small forest park, accessed by several pedestrian trails. Alongside the southern tower is a bronze medallion of D. Afonso Henriques, over a large rock.