UNESCO’s World Heritage places in Portugal

Portugal is a country of history and beauty. There’s several places throughout our borders that are recognized as being important for our history, among them there’s castles and several monuments. Our beauty is diversified, going from the natural landscapes to the most populated cities. Of course that small villages and towns also play an important role in the appeal of Portugal.

In this article you can get to know what UNESCO considered World Heritage in our country.

Central Zone of Angra do Heroísmo in Azores (1983)

Central Zone of Angra do Heroísmo

Located in the Terceira Island, Angra was the first european city of Atlantic. It was an imperial harbour from 15th century until 19th century. The city evolved around its harbour, allowing the evolution from the Middle Ages to Renaissance.

Convent of Christ in Tomar (1983)

Convent of Christ in Tomar

This was the name given to the conglomerate of historic buildings in the parish. It was built from the 12th to the 18th century. It has architectural style elements that reflects the era in which it was built, like Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline and Mannerist.

Monastery of Batalha (1983)

Monastery of Batalha

Built throughout 2 centuries, it was finished around 1563, after 7 reigns. Its origin came up from the win of the battle of Aljubarrota. It’s an example of the Manueline and Gothic styles. It was also elected as one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal.

Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon (1983)

Tower of Belém in Lisbon

Located in Belém, Lisbon. These 2 monuments are imperial to visit if you’re interested in Portuguese history. Both are considered wonders of Portugal.

The Monastery of the Hieronymites was built in the 16th century. It’s the highest point of Manueline architecture. It’s one of the nation’s symbols, as it is connected to the Portuguese Real House and the epic of the Discoveries.

The Tower of Belém showcases the implicit nationalism as seen by its decoration with coat of arms of Portugal and inscriptions of Crosses of the Order of Christ in the bastion windows.

We have this tour dedicated to discovering Lisbon!

Historic Centre of Évora (1986)

Historic Centre of Évora

With elements that connect it to the times of Roman Empire, the city-museum still maintains trace elements of several cultures: Romans, Arabs, Jews, Christians,…

It has several narrow streets and it’s demarcated by the medieval walls.

You can visit it with us.

Monastery of Alcobaça (1989)

Monastery of Alcobaça

It’s a National Monument since 1910. It’s also one of the 7 wonders of Portugal.

This Monastery is the first portuguese building with a totally gothic approach stylistically.

Cultural Landscape of Sintra (1995)

Cultural Landscape of Sintra

This Cultural Landscape covers the historic centre of the village (and the various historic monuments) as well as Sintra’s mountain and the natural vegetation that surrounds it.

Visit Sintra, on this tour.

Historic Centre of Oporto, Luiz I Bridge and Monastery of Serra do Pilar (1996)

Historic Centre of Oporto

The Historic Centre of Oporto corresponds to the oldest cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia and its urban influences with origin in the medieval times. Its unique appeal is based on the fact that it’s still possible to see these influences even today.

The Luiz I Bridge (made in 1886) connects Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia and is one of the various places in this region that attracts tourists.

The Monastery of Serra do Pilar is a noticeable building due to its exceptional classic architectural value.

Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde (1998;2010)

Prehistoric Rock Art Sites

Along the Côa River you may find various examples of prehistoric rock art. These are engraved in stones dated from as early as the Upper Paleolithic Era. Studies are currently being made about them, but may take years or decades until results are discovered.

Siega Verde is also a rock art site, located in Salamanca, Spain.

Laurisilva of Madeira (1999)

Laurisilva of Madeira

Laurisilva is a subtropical rainforest. The biggest expression of such type of forest is in the Madeira Island. It’s possible that this rainforest exists for at least 1.8 million years according to some reports.

Alto Douro Wine Region (2001)

Alto Douro Wine Region

This area extends for more than 26 thousand hectares and is bathed by Douro river. The origin of the region goes back to the times when Porto wine started being made, around the 17th century.

To this day, Porto wine is still made in this region with the vineyards contributing to the overall appealing landscapes, that you can see while cycling on this tour.

Historic Centre of Guimarães (2001)

Historic Centre of Guimarães

The Historic Centre of Guimarães is highly associated to the emergence of the Portuguese identity around the 12th second.

It shows the evolution of the medieval culture to the modern times. There’s lots of preserved buildings throughout the modern city. Most of them with a lot of importance to the portuguese patrimony.

The Guimarães Castle is connected to the establishment of Portucalense County and the independence of our country.

Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture (2004)

Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture

With an area of about 987 hectares, this zone has an interesting pattern of walls parallel and perpendicular to the rocky coast line, where the vineyards reside. These walls were built to protect the vineyards from the water and the wind of the sea.

The diversity of fauna and flora present in the region is also notable.

Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications (2012)

Fort of Graça - Town of Elvas

This classified place by UNESCO was heavily fortified between the 17th and 19th centuries and it’s the biggest system of “abaluartadas” fortification in the world. The delimitation classified by UNESCO also contemplates:

Elvas Castle, Elvas Stronghold, Elvas Walls, Amoreira Aqueduct, Nossa Senhora da Graça Fort and Santa Luzia Fort among others.

University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia (2013)

University of Coimbra

This University is one of the oldest currently running in the world and is the oldest in Portugal. The history of it takes us back to the creation of the Portuguese nation, in 1290.

The “Alta” part of Coimbra is where the nobleness, “clero” and students lived.

The Sofia street is a big and famous street in the District, with lots of commerce everywhere.

Pictures Source: whc.unesco.org