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The historic town of Guimarães is associated with the emergence of the Portuguese national identity in the 12th century. An exceptionally well-preserved and authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern town, its rich building typology exemplifies the specific development of Portuguese architecture from the 15th to 19th century through the consistent use of traditional building materials and techniques.

The shell of the **castle of Countess Mumadona Dias, considered to have been the most powerful woman in Portugal in the 10th century, is about a five-minute walk above the center of Guimarães. Next door is the far better preserved 15th-century palace of the **Dukes of Bragança, now a museum.

We enjoyed lunch and a few hours exploring the town. It’s a good stop on the way to somewhere else.

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