Tour of Guarda

Catedral da Guarda
Place: Guarda
Photo: Turismo Centro de Portugal
Photo: Turismo Centro de Portugal

Don't miss
  • wander the streets of the Jewish Quarter and discover the Hebrew symbols etched in stone
  • visit the cathedral
  • relax on a terrace under the arcades of the 16th century Praça Velha (Old Square)
  • climb the Keep of the castle to enjoy the view over the city and the mountains

The fresh, healthy mountain air in Portugal’s highest city flows through the mediaeval streets to which the granite lends nobility and a dark colour.

This is the colour of the Cathedral. Tall, huge and imposing, it has the appearance of a fortress with mighty towers rising as a symbol of the defence of faith and the territory. And if the exterior impresses us by its inspired design and Gothic decoration, the interior is surprising for the overwhelming height of the naves and an enormous altarpiece carved in stone.

Outside in the square, the 16th century arcades house cafés where you can rest and watch the pulsating heart of the city. Narrow streets radiate from here, with granite palaces and old houses with Gothic windows and gargoyles in the eaves. The entire historical centre is protected by walls, gates and mediaeval towers that have lasted to the present day almost intact.

Next to the walls lies the Judiaria (Jewish Quarter). Most of the buildings date from the Middle Ages, preserving symbols carved in stone and the original architecture with two doors - a narrow one to access the family living space on the upper floor, another wider door to the shop on the ground floor, since most of the Jews were tradesmen.

No visit would be complete without a stop at the Guarda Museum housed in the former Bishop's Palace, the Misericórdia Church with its Baroque interior, and the Church of São Vicente with its remarkable tile panels. Outside the town centre, the Romanesque Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Mileu is one of the oldest monuments, dating from before the 12th century.

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