【The mother of Portuguese castle】Castle of Guimarães

By GreaterGo Editor
5 Jul 2024

【The mother of Portuguese castle】Castle of Guimarães

There are numerous majestic and mesmerising castles in Portugal. Yet, only one can claim to be “the mother of Portuguese castle” - the Castle of Guimarães in the northern region. The famous historical city Guimarães is honoured as “the birthplace of Portugal”, which makes it an excellent starting point for your historical journey of Portugal.


The Castle of Guimarães, which is among the earliest castles built in the country, was erected in the 10th century. Its establishment mainly served as a guard to the monasteries in the city against attacks from Norsemen and Moors, the regional powers from Scandinavia and North Africa respectively, as religion was the centre of life for Portuguese by then. Both the Norsemen and Moors were known for their fierceness. Therefore, the city walls were built to be thick and towering so that it made the city easy to hold yet hard to attack. The design became a future reference for many fortresses, and even the image of castles commonly seen in fairy tales.


The Castle of Guimarães, together with buildings such as the Church of São Miguel do Castelo and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza are prominent historical heritage in the Historic Centre of Guimarães, showing visitors the history of Portuguese architecture during the 15th to 19th century. You can tell from the sentence “Aqui Nasceu Portugal” (Here, Portugal was born) engraved on the city wall at the entrance of Guimarães that the ancient city carries remarkable historical significance.

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