Guarda Travel Guide

Known As the highest town in Portugal (at an elevation of about 1056m/3465ft), The town of Guarda has always played an important role as a defensive site.

It is imagen to have been a military base for Julius Caesar, later for the Visigoths, and eventually for the Moors. Today it is a good base to explore Serra da Estrela. On the gothic cathedral that also dominates the town’s central square. It was built between the 14th and 16th century, with Gothic, Renaissance, and Manueline elements. In the interior are twisted pillars and arched vaulting, and a masterpiece Renaissance altar of white marble.

The town of Guarda was founded in 1199 by the second king of Portugal, Sancho I.

The Misericordia Church, with an ornamental portal and Baroque altars, and north of the cathedral is São Vicente Church, with 16 elaborate tile panels depicting the life of Christ. The Town Museum is housed in the old bishop’s palace, and displays paintings and archeological finds.