Guimaraes – a cultural capital of Europe in 2012

Guimaraes view

Guimaraes ©chilangoco/Flickr

This Year even the famous New York times is promoting a Portuguese town for a destination. ‘Guimaraes is yours as well!’ – that is the slogan with which the Hungarian ambassador of Portugal, Antonio J. Mendes invited everyone to visit the town in this year and repeated the recommendation of the prestigious US newspapaer – visit Guimaraes, Europe’s cultural capital in 2012.

Check out what is waiting for you in Northern Portugal this year and do not hesitate, book the tickets, reserve the rooms and pack your suitcase. In the meantime, let us know if you have ever been to Portugal, maybe even Guimaraes, and what your experiences were or what would you like to do the most  in the Iberian country.

Wonderful town in Portugal

Square in  Guimaraes

Guimaraes square ©sedoglia/Flickr

The fact that Guimaraes became one of the cultural capital of Europe – the other one is Maribor in Slovenia – has got great historical and sentimental value for the country. The Portuguese say the small town 350 north from Lisbon is the cradle of the country.  The unique city center with it’s Medieval buildings and atmosphere got to the World Heritage Site list of UNESCO in 2001, one more reason to visit it!

The town belongs to the region of Minho that has got beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful mountain regions.  It is a densely populated area with significant fruit and wine production. This is where they make the famous Portuguese wine, the vinho verde. Guimarres is easily reachable through railway and highway as well but Porto’s Airport is only 40 minutes away from the town, if you prefer to fly.

Programs for 2012 begun

Museo Condes in Guimaraes

Museo Condes in Guimaraes ©Margaine/Flickr

The cultural events that usually mark the reign of a cultural capital have already begun. An international contemporary dance festival called GUIdance. Francois Truffaut, the famous French film director would be 80 years old this year, in his memory they will play his iconic film, the Jules and Jim and organize exhibitions and lectures about his work.

They will also open up the yard of some homes, where musicians will play – usually classical music – for anyone passing by. But there will be so many other things to see and do!

The Portuguese embassies all over the world started to cooperate with travel agencies to help them organize the visitor’s travel to Guimaraes. Will you be one of the visitors? What kind of programs would you like to attend if you were to go? Please share your opinions in the comment section.

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