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Historic Centre of Guimarães
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 12th century
Date of Inscription: 2001
Location: Europe, Portugal, Province of Minho, District of Braga
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Description: The historic town of Guimarães is linked with the materialization of the Portuguese national identity in the 12th century. A remarkably well-preserved and genuine example of the development of a Medieval settlement into a modern town, its prosperous building typology illustrates the Portuguese architectural development from the 15th to 19th century with the uniform utilization of traditional building materials and techniques. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Guimarães (pron. IPA [gimɐ'ɾɐ̃ĩʃ]) is a city and municipality in northwestern Portugal in the province of Minho and in the district of Braga. The city is often referred to as the "birthplace of the Portuguese nationality" and was the birthplace of Afonso I of Portugal, the first Portuguese king. The seat of the municipality is Guimarães city, that is made of 16 parishes and, as of 2001, has a population of 52,181 inhabintants. The totality of the municipality has a population of 161,876 inhabitants in 241.3 Km². The present Mayor is António Magalhães Silva, elected by the Socialist Party. Guimarães is ranked number 2 in the Portuguese most livable cities survey of living conditions published yearly by Expresso. The city was founded upon much older settlements by Count Vímara Peres after his namesake (Vimaranis, later Guimaranis), soon after he established the 1st County of Portugal (in 868). As the first capital of Portugal, Guimarães is known as the place where the country was born - "The Cradle City". In 1095 Count Henry of Burgundy, who had married princess Teresa of León, establishes in Guimarães the 2nd County of Portugal (Condado Portucalense). In July 25, 1109 Afonso Henriques, son of Count Henry of Burgundy, is born in this same city. That is were Duke Afonso Henriques proclaimed Portuguese independence from the Kingdom of León, after the Battle of São Mamede, declaring himself to be Afonso I, king of Portugal. The Historic Centre of Guimarães was declared a World Heritage Site in 2001 by UNESCO, due to its Middle Age historical monuments. The Campus of Azurém of the Minho University is located in Guimarães. Vitória SC (also known as Vitória de Guimarães) is the most renowned sports club based in Guimarães. Moreirense FC is another club based in the municipality of Guimarães. Guimarães was chosen by the Portuguese government to be the European Capital of Culture in 2012. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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