Guimaraes, another short train ride from Porto

We had so much success with our day trip to Braga, a few days later we headed to Guimaraes, often referred to as the birthplace of Portugal. It was here that King Afonso Henriques was born, and near where Portugese forces expelled the Ottoman forces and Portugal began to assert itself.

The King

There is a Castle and the residence of a Duke that can be toured, but as we approached the site a large group of school children arrived for a field trip. For those of you who don’t know us that well, that means we decided to put those attractions on the list for “next time, a quieter time.” And we wandered a little bit down the road.

We came across this church with the fancy sign pointing to the museum. We paid a Euro each to the nice man at the desk. He then proceeded to show us a few highlights. As his English was only slightly better than our Portugese, it was a lot of pointing and enthusiastic waving and air writing the dates of various church and hospital artifacts. He was delightful!
A beautiful old clock, he opened the case and advanced the time so we could hear the lovely chimes. My dad has an antique clock that plays the same chimes.
A restored area in the church.
Then we went up to the choir loft and he showed us the 300 year old pipe organ. Which he proceeded to turn on and open the access panel so we could see the bellows fill with air. Then he sat to show us how good it sounded.
He admitted to not been much of an organist and insisted that I play. So we had two “not much of an organists” banging away on a 300 year old organ! Best. Tour. Ever!
The interior of the church from the loft.

After he turned off the organ he explained he needed to get back to the desk, but he left us to explore, and showed us the very narrow stone steps to the bell tower and encouraged us to check it out.

The bell tower, yes that is a rope, yes were were supposed to tug it and ring the bell!
The view in to the courtyard from the bell tower.
While we took a pass on the interior tours of the castle and Duke’s place, we walked the grounds and marveled at the buildings.
The side of the Duke’s Residence. Apparently it was a very influential and wealthy Duchy.
Well, it has been a while since I posted a photo of some flowers.
There are often doors on older buildings that are not exactly Dan sized.
At the edge of the old part of the city looking through the medieval wall at the plaza leading to a church.
The church at the end of the Plaza.

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