The early history of Guimarães is closely associated with the establishment of Portuguese national identity and the Portuguese language in the 12th century. Guimarães is of considerable significance by virtue of the fact that specialized building techniques developed there in the Middle Ages were transmitted to Portuguese colonies in Africa and the New World, becoming their characteristic feature. It is an exceptionally well-preserved town illustrating the evolution of particular building types from the medieval settlement to the present-day city, and particularly in the 15th-19th centuries.
Guimarães dominates the fertile plain that extends towards the sea. It is situated on the most important medieval communication routes connecting Monçao and Braga with Viseu and Caminha, the seat of the Portuguese Counts from the 10th century.
The early history of Guimaraes is closely associated with the establishment of Portuguese Nation