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The city of Guimaraes was originally settled in the 9th century and is widely regarded as being “the cradle of the Portuguese nationality.” It served as center of government for the historic county of Portugal after the Moorish invaders were pushed out by the Kingdom of Galicia in the 10th century. It was also the site of the Battle of São Mamede in 1128, and may have been the birthplace of Afonso I of Portugal, the first Portuguese king.

Today the historic city center of Guimaraes is a UNESCO World Heritage site because it’s said to be an authentic example of the evolution of a medieval town into a modern city. Among the well-preserved 15th to 19th-century Portuguese architecture is the medieval Guimaraes Castle, and the famed Palace of the Dukes of Bragança.

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