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Millennium Foundation helps renovate Guimarães Castle...

 

Millennium Foundation helps renovate Guimarães Castle...

Almost 900 years after the Battle of S. Mamede, the main tower at the Castle of Guimarães in northern Portugal reopened to the public on a “day for Portugal”, with the structure completely renovated thanks in part to financing from the Millennium Foundation.

The work aimed to improve accessibility and safety at the monument, which now has first-rate conditions to welcome the thousands of visitors who come to Guimarães every year and seek out this emblematic tower.

In addition to reopening the tower, the day also featured the inauguration of a new exhibition that provides context about the tower and its link to the creation of the Kingdom of Portugal. “From County to Kingdom: Guimarães Castle Research Center” relates the history of the Portucalense County and the formation of the Kingdom of Portugal, portraying the origin of the Guimarães Castle using images of the first King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques.

The castle dates from the 10th century, and has been classified as a national monument since 1910. It was initially constructed to defend the Santa Maria Monastery, founded by the widow of Count Hermenegildo Gonçalves, the Countessa Mumadona Dias. In the 1940s it underwent reconstruction work as part of the commemorations of the creation of the nation and the restoration of independence.

On June 24 Guimarães celebrated the “First Day of Portugal”, evoking the Battle of S. Mamede fought in 1128 between D. Afonso Henriques and his mother, D. Teresa, with the Millennium Foundation having contributed to the safety and accessibility of all those who visit the Castle of Guimarães’ main tower.