Castle of Guimarães, the Castle of the First King of Portugal

Castle of Guimaraes

Castle of Guimarães is believed to be the birthplace of Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal. This castle brings back a lot of memories for me, as it was one of the places I visited with my husband before our marriage and a picture we took there was later part of our “proof” for the immigration officers that we were in love. We took our older children to the castle some years later and haven’t been back. This trip to Portugal, we decided it was time to take the two youngest. It’s one of the less expensive castles you can visit in Portugal.

Great Parking

There is a large area for free public parking, which isn’t always true for some castles, and this makes visiting the Castle of Guimarães even easier. Here is my youngest, Lisbon, standing in front of one of the nearby historic churches with the castle in the background.

Lisbon in front of the church

And a view of the church later from the castle itself, just to show a little more perspective.

Lisbon in Guimaraes

Safe (and Boring) Wooden Walkways 

The castle itself was familiar, even after so many years, but where before visitors who climbed the parapets and walked along them had to be very careful not to fall off, now wooden walkway, railings, and wires line everything. It was rather disappointing to see this, as they definitely didn’t exist back when Afonso Henriques was running around the castle, but it was infinitely a lot safer. Below is my husband with our daughters Lisbon and Liana, with his cousin Zezinha and his brother, Jaime, behind them.

Our group at Guimaraes

Below my husband and daughter check out the Castle of Guimarães.

TJ and Liana at Guimaraes

Me with my daughter, Lisbon.

Teyla and Lisbon

Cool Steps

Now this is more what Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, would have lived with. Unfortunately, they were roped off. Liana was a little disappointed.

Liana near some stairs

Refreshments Anyone?

A castle room just for refreshments is new for us. This definitely wasn’t here the last few times we visited. The kids enjoyed hot chocolate from a vending machine, and there were plenty of other choices for my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and husband’s cousin as well.


Inside the Middle Turret 

Something cool about this visit is that the past two times I was there, the middle turret was closed. I have no idea how long it’s been open, but there are at least three floors you can visit now that tell the history of the area. There is even a cartoon video that tells all about Afonso Henriques. The uppermost room had stairs leading clear up to the top. But those were roped off this time. I really wanted to go up there and view the countryside, but maybe next time.

Inside the middle turret

The Rock

This rock inside the castle walls is where my husband and I took the picture before our marriage and after our wedding in Gibraltar we used that as part of our proof that we were marrying for love and not to get him to the States. So being a sentimental fool like most authors, I wanted to pose there again. By this time, my ankle was very swollen after a weird foot injury, but it really didn’t hurt. The first pictures we took with my hat.

Our rock with the hat

Then I took it off, and I had to plump my hair up a bit. My husband got a kick out of that, and began plumping up his own hair. The wind didn’t help things!

TJ making fun of me

I’ve only included a few of the funny pictures here, but we were laughing so hard.

TJ and Teyla Rachel

A new position really didn’t help.

Us again on the rock

Then the girls got into the act!

Teyla and family

To give you a little perspective, this is what the rock looks like zoomed out with the rest of our party in the picture.

Inside Guimaraes castle

And here is a terrible picture of my foot taken with a very old borrowed cell phone. I have no idea how I injured it the first time a few days before, but I reinjured on the bed at our cousin’s house the morning before we went to Guimarães.

Teyla's foot injury


Outside the walls

Lisbon climbed up quite some distance into the rocks outside the castle. This gives you a little perspective of how tall the walls are. 

Lisbon outside Guimaraes

On the wall

Here are TJ and the girls on outside wall. If you look at the very first picture, this wall is on the right side and looks really small. In reality, it’s pretty tall. This is taken from the other side, of course, right before we passed under the wall through the short tunnel.

TJ and the girls on the wall

The surrounding area is beautiful, with the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, several historic churches, and plenty of tables for picnicking only minutes away by foot. If you are ever in Portugal, make sure you visit and take a picture on my rock! If you missed my post on Sintra Palace, you should really take a peek at those pictures too. Next up are the pictures from the National Palace of Queluz


Teyla Rachel Branton


Copyright 2019 Teyla Rachel Branton

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3 Responses to “Castle of Guimarães, the Castle of the First King of Portugal”

  1. Gale Osborne

    Loved the pictures and would love to visit there.It was good to see you and your family enjoying time together..hope your foot is all better. Thank you for sharing the pictures. : )

  2. charlene capodice

    wow that was some trip! I hope your foot is better now! thanks for sharing!

  3. Sylvia Charlton

    Thanks for these photos. I now have a new place to add to my bucket list. I have been to Portugal but during a cruise so we didn’t get to see a lot but I loved what we did see. The town of Sintra was so nice.
    It was raining when we went to Estoril but it was still beautiful.


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