Visiting the birthplace of Portugal Guimaraes and the religious capital of Braga
– one of the most popular travel destinations in europe
Magnificent Portugal really has hundreds of destinations waiting for you to discover. It is definitely a country that you will visit again and again to explore and get to know all those places that make it one of the most popular destinations, not only in Europe but all over the world. Today this article will take you to the northern part of this beautiful country of the Iberian Peninsula, where the two most important cities of Guimaraes and Prague are located.
We will discover together the cradle of the Portuguese Nation, Guimaraes as well as the religious capital of Portugal, Braga.
Guimaraes: the birthplace of the Portuguese nation
In the 12th century was born there the national hero of the country and its first king, Alfonso Henriques. Henriques after a series of wars managed to achieve independence of the southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia—thus laying the foundations for the establishment of the Portuguese state.
But this beautiful historic city of 52,181 inhabitants, is living for centuries in the shadow of Lisbon. In 2012 Guimaraes was honoured as one of the cultural capitals of Europe. This occasion was pivotal for the total cultural renaissance of the town. The old majestic castle was retouched, the medieval buildings of the historic centre were renovated, and many cultural events by famous artists took place after the this.
The historic centre of Guimaraes was declared a World Heritage Site in 2001 by UNESCO. Guimaraes has many medieval houses and monuments: The Palace of the Duke of Braganza, the magnificent monastery and church of the 14th-century Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, the Padrão do Salado (Gothic temple), and the Church of St. Francis are some of the most important sights of Guimaraes for every visitor to see.
Braga, the religious capital of Portugal
Braga is the religious capital of Portugal and is located in the northwest of the country very close to Guimaraes. Braga combines modern youth energy with medieval history as in 2012 it became the European Youth Capital. With an authenticity that is hard to find in other destinations, the oldest Portuguese city has managed to retain its traditional character after all these years. One of its most important sights is the oldest cathedral in the country which dates back to the 11th century.
The Biscainhos (former Palace) Museum was built in the late 16th century and is an excellent example of Baroque architecture with elaborate designs. It is worth visiting the archaeological museum of the city to discover up close the rich structural and cultural heritage of Braga.
The beautiful gardens of Santa Barbara, the monastery of St. Martin of the 10th century and the Roman Baths of Maximinus are destinations that everyone should visit. Also, in the Paço Arquiepiscopal Archdiocese and the Raio Palace, one can admire up close the imposing Baroque and Rococo style crafts of that time.
But to visit all these places, which are far enough apart, you must have a means of transportation. A car would be the ideal choice for your visit to Braga because not only will it allow you to move around the various cultural and historical parts of the city, but it will also give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding areas. Portugal is a beautiful country that really hides special surprises in every corner of it. Therefore, when visiting the country, consider renting a means of transportation. So if you are looking for car hire in Braga, Enjoy Travel will offer you fantastic packages of special offers and countless options that will satisfy all your needs.