Cold, but beautiful
Situated in a 1075m high plateau, in the northeast side of Estrela mountain range, Guarda is the highest city in the country. It is simultaneously district and diocese headquarters. It regularly snows in Guarda, traditionally known in Portugal as the “5 F city”: “Farta” (wealthy), “Fria” (cold), “Forte” (strong), “Fiel” (faithful) and “Formosa” (beautiful). Guarda was founded in 1199 by D. Sancho I, in order to attract the people of the eastern border, devastated by wars between Christians and Moors. The most remarkable heritage highlights are: the Cathedral, which began to be built under the reign of D. João I; the 12th century keep (from where one has a view over the whole historical centre); vestiges of former walls; 13th century S. Francisco Convent; Misericórdia Baroque church and the former Bishop’s House. The historical centre has kept traces of Renaissance architecture. In 1882, with the railway arrival, Guarda became an important communication centre that has been reinforced nowadays by the crossing of two highways: A23 to the south and A25, connecting Aveiro port to the border. Spain is located 40km east. Ciudad Rodrigo and Salamanca are the nearest Spanish cities. Guarda is connected to them by highway and train. On August 15th takes place the important Senhora de Mileu procession.