A Secret Place for the Cultural Traveler

There are places all over the world that most people never hear about, much less travel to. Why? Perhaps it is because these places do not get the popularity vote, or sometimes it is because other places always have a bigger spot in the limelight. For the cultural tourist, however, cultural travel can include places that are kept secret from the mainstream, yet have all of the ingredients of a cultural feast which include art, food, dance, story, history, and a physical presence in the world unlike any other.  One secret place that you may not have heard of before is Guimaraes, Portugal. Guimaraes is one of Portugal’s most significant historical sites and considered the cradle of Portuguese Nationality. It is relatively unknown to most cultural travelers but is deemed one of Unesco’s World Heritage sites.   Below you see the Castle of Guimaraes. It was once the residence of royalty in 1139. Later it was used as a political prison during the time of King Miguel. Then in 1836, it was almost demolished. People have a way of stepping forward and saving places that are historically significant, and the castle was saved from demolition from one such person who was a member of the Patriotic Society in 1836. Its restoration was completed in 1940.


A view of the Castle Guimaraes, Portugal


You might ask, “Why go to this well kept secret place in Guimaraes?”

“for Carlos Martins, the CEO of the Guimarães 2012 Foundation, hosting a scaled-down, post-austerity event is the very thing that sets the city apart. “We have more chance to surprise people as a small-scale city. The challenge is greater, but then so is our commitment,” says the former academic with an interest in cultural geography.


Perhaps your cultural travel plans could include a place like Guimaraes, Portugal. But don’t tell too many people, or your experience will change into one that everyone knows. Best to keep it as a secret place that you can remember as a cultural treasure to enjoy. You may wish to explore more about  Guimaraes here.



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