[Dec. 2021] We went to Guimaraes in the afternoon with the tour that departed from Porto, Portugal.
This is a World Heritage Site that is said to be the birthplace of Portugal.
The first King Afonso I was born here.
The original statue of the king, which everyone in the nation knows, stood here.
First, we had a look at the exterior of the castle, which has a history of 1000 years.
It is located on a small hill, and it is said that Afonso I was born in this castle.
On the tour, we were supposed to see the inside of this castle, but the day was New Year’s Eve.
The castle workers, who are civil servant, were off on the day so we could not enter.
A little down the hill, there was a palace this time.
This palace, Paco dos Duques was built in the early 15th century by another Afonso.
This Afonso was the first Duke of Braganza, whose descendants opened the Brigantine Dynasty in the 17th century.
It was also closed, so we just looked at the exterior and went down to the old town.
By the way, when we went into the souvenir shop in front of the palace and bought a small bag, the owner said “Arigato” in Japanese.
I must have been a Japanese customer for the first time in a long time in this Covid crisis.
He looked very happy.
Contrary to the quiet area of the castle and the palace, the old town was very busy.
The square called Praca de Santiago was full of citizens relaxing at the outside table.
Talking about Santiago, there were some shell marks engraved on the streets of this town.
At first glance, the mark was reminiscent of the oil major Shell, but this was a sign of the Santiago pilgrimage route.
At a cake shop along this road, Claudia bought cakes for us.
Because the castle that was supposed to be visited was closed, this was a compensation.
The cakes here are apparently made in a monastery.
Portuguese really like cakes, don’t they.
After that, we broke up and took a walk in the old town on our own.
It’s a town with a lovely atmosphere.
Braga, which we went to earlier, was not very attractive as a town, but here, the beauty of the townscape was impressive.
I would like to stay here for at least one night.
There must be good restaurants here.
After walking around the town, we went into the Church of Our Lady of Olive (Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira).
The church has a history dating back to 950, but it was rebuilt at the end of the 14th century.
The reason for this strange name is that there is a legend that an olive tree sprouted at the same time as the arch of the church was completed.
It was another beautiful church.
Now our time in Guimaraes was over.
This visit was like a quick preview.
So this town joined the list of places I want to visit again.
The tour reassembled at 5 o’clock and then headed straight back to Porto.