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Standing on a bleak hill on the northeast flank of the Serra da Estrela mountains, Guarda was founded in 1197 and is Portugal's highest city, at 1056 metres. Its name cames from its role as a guard to the frontier and it still keeps a rather forbidding and austere aspect.

The Gothic cathedral, ressembling a fortress, began to be built in 1390 and was only concluded in 1540; the graceful interior contrasts with the imposing fašade and the retable exhibits one hundred carved figures by Jean de Rouen.

Another religious monument worth visiting is the 17th-century Miserichord Church with its Baroque altars and pulpits.

At the historic town center, the church of Saint Vincent exhibits beautiful panels of tiles, portraying the life of Christ, from the 18th century.

Guarda had once a large Jewish community and some traces of their presence are still visible.

The Guarda Regional Museum displays paintings, archaeological findings and has a section dedicated to the city's poet Augusto Gil (1873-1929).

The small village of Gonšalo is known for its traditional wicker basketry and there are fine farms with manor-houses at the valley near Vela.

The climate in Winter is cold and harsh and the county has been profoundly marked by emigration.

| Hotels (3) | Pensions and Boarding Houses (5) | Aparthotels (1) | Manor & Farm Houses (6) |

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