|CASTLE OF GUIMARAES|
The well-preserved medieval city of Guimarães (pop. 52,000) is located about 50 km. northwest of Porto. It was designated in 2001 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition for being an exceptionally well-preserved and authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern town in Europe. It is also considered the birthplace of Portugal because it is believed that Portugal's first King, Afonso Henriques, was born here. Alfonso went on to lead the Battle of São Mamede (1128AD) which is considered a critical event for the foundation of the Kingdom of Portugal.
It was highly recommended as a side trip by the tourist office and the inexpensive train fare of €6.60 or €3.30 for seniors made it even more appealing. We decided to take the train and make a day of it. Note that anyone 65 and older receives a 50% discount on all Portuguese trains.
When we arrived at the train station on this September day, it was raining. Fortunately we had umbrellas, but it was still not a pleasant walk to the center especially since we weren't exactly sure of the route and didn't have a map.
Our luck changed when the rain stopped, and we found a great restaurant for lunch called Buxa near the ancient Oliveira Square at Largode Oliveira 23. Our table overlooked the square, and I enjoyed the seafood luncheon special (€12.50) that included sole, mixed salad, rice dish, breads, olives, eclair for dessert, and a glass of house white wine.
|CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF OLIVEIRA|
The tenth century Castle of Guimarães is perched on a hill overlooking the town. I enjoyed a pleasant walk up to the castle while Ron stopped at a cafe to do some work. It followed a tree-lined boulevard with medieval buildings along the way. After making a circular walk around the walled castle with its eight majestic towers and park-like grounds, I entered the medieval structure for a leisurely visit. I climbed the stairs, walked along the walls, peered out at the nearby countryside, and then perused a small museum in the tower that had some interesting displays.
“However skeptical one may be about the basis of the pilgrimage and the legends surrounding it, one cannot help being affected by it. Maybe it's the simplicity of the life and the closeness to nature that makes one conscious of deeper realities and I hope, as a result, I have learned to be a better person, or at least I will try to be.”
Related Posts: http://myvintagejourneys.blogspot.com/2016/11/road-to-santiago-vintage-way.html
|CHURCH OF SAO MIGUEL DO CASTELO|