The origins of the city of Guarda date back to a long time in history. The original traces that are still visible take us back to the Neolithic Period, the best examples being the dolmen of Pêra do Moço and the stone axes which can be seen in the city museum. The Tintinolho and Jarmelo forts and a stretch of a Roman Road are other important historical remnants of the Bronze Age and the Roman Period, respectively.

In 1199 D. Sancho I, the second king of Portugal, founded the city of Guarda by royal decree in order to encourage a local population to settle and at the same time to provide a defense from possible Spanish invasion through the eastern frontier of Portugal.

The city of Guarda was the stage of important military events that took place in Portuguese history, namely in times when Portugal had to fight for its independence. It was also the place chosen by several kings of the first and second dynasties to ratify treaties, establish diplomatic agreements and summon the Court.

Guarda is associated with military defense and religious traditions. This legacy is evident in its patrimony: the Torre de Menagem, dating back to the twelfth century; the ruins of medieval walls; the Cathedral, built between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries; the Monastery of Saint Francis; the baroque churches of Misericórdia and Saint Vicent and the old Bishop’s Palace. The Chapel of Mileu, a place dedicated to the cult of the Virgin Mary, dates back to the romantic period.


Guarda is located in the interior of Portugal, in the Serra da Estrela region, and is known as the highest city in the country (1,056 metres).

Its natural resources make Guarda a mountain city with wild landscapes that offer a magnificent scenery.

Guarda is known as the city of 5 F’s: Fria (cold) – due to the typical mountain weather; Forte (strong), because it defended the country from possible invasions; Farta (plentiful), because the fertile Mondego valley always responded to the needs of the population; Fiel (loyal), due to the courage and determination in not surrendering to the King of Castille; and Formosa (beautiful), for its natural beauty.

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