Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Portal UMinho

Guimarães




Portal UMinho > EN > Student life > Guimarães

 Guimarães



Guimarães is a Portuguese city located in the district of Braga, in the northern and sub-region of Ave (one of the most industrialised sub-regions in the country). It has a population of 52 182 inhabitants, spread through an urban area of 23,5 km², in 20 parishes. It has a population density of 223,9 inhabitants per km².  It is the centre of a municipality with 242,85 km² and 162 572 inhabitants (according to 2006 statistics), sub-divided into 69 parishes. Most of the population reside in the city and its suburbs. The municipality is bordered, in the north, by Póvoa de Lanhoso; in the east, by Fafe; in the south by Felgueiras, Vizela and Santo Tirso; in the west by Vila Nova de Famalicão and in the north-west by Braga.

It is a historical city, which played a crucial part in the foundation of Portugal as a country. Guimarães has existed for a millennium since it was founded, known then as Vimaranes.
Guimarães is one of the most important historical cities in the country. The city centre was considered a Cultural Heritage of Humanity, making it one of the biggest tourism centres in the region. Its streets and monuments breathe history and charm visitors.

Guimarães has known how to best reconcile history and heritage conservation with the dynamics and entrepreneurship, traits of a contemporary city.
It is often named as the "Cradle-City", due to the fact that it was here that the administrative centre of the County of Portugal (Condado Portucalense) was founded by D. Henrique. His son, D. Afonso Henriques is thought to have been born in Guimarães. Another historical event of importance was the Battle of São Mamede, which happened outside the city on the 24th of June 1128, an event that helped shape the concept of Portuguese nationality. However, the Reconquista and the need to protect territories further south led to moving the administrative centre to Coimbra, in 1129.
The "Vimaranenses" [denonym for those who come from Guimarães] are the fruit of this historical conquest that began, precisely, in Guimarães.