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The castle in Guimaraes was built in the 10th century to protect a nearby monastery from Moors and Norsemen. As the first capital of the nation and birthplace of its first king, Guimaraes it is one of Portugal’s most historic cities and one of the most attractive places to visit in the country. Its historic town center is listed as a World Heritage Site in recognition of its being an “exceptionally well-preserved and authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern town” in Europe.