Photographer's Note

Castle of Guimarães was ordered to be built by Dona Mumadona Dias in the 10th century in order to defend its monastery from Muslim and Norman attacks.

Count Dom Henrique (to whom the Portuguese county of Portucale had been granted) chose Guimarães to establish his court. The fortress, then over a century old, needed urgent renovation. The nobleman chose to destroy what remained from Mumadona's construction, while extending the area of the castle and adding two entrances. The castle continued to be the official royal residence through much of the 11th and 12th centuries.

In 1836, a member of the Sociedade Patriótica Vimaranense (Patriotic Society of Guimarães) defended the demolition of the Castle, and suggested the use of its stones to pave the streets of Guimarães, as the fortress had been used as a political prison during the reign of King Michael. However, this was never accepted. 45 years later, on March 19, 1881, the Diário do Governo (Official Journal) listed the Castle of Guimarães as the most unique historic monument of the whole region of Minho.

In 1910 this Castle was declared a national monument. In 1937, the General Service for National Buildings and Monuments started its great restoration, which concluded with the inauguration of the castle's present symbolic status on June 4, 1940.


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