Church of S. Miguel
The oldest document mentioning this church dates from 1216, but it isn’t mentioned in the 1220 Enquiries.
In 1239, the temple was consecrated by the archbishop Silvestre Godinho, according to a missing inscription.
In the 1258 Enquiries the Church is designated as of S. Miguel but, in 1285, it is named as of Santa Margarida (St. Margaret). Over the centuries, both names were in use.
In the Middle Ages, several local administration sessions were held under its porch, thus becoming a location for governance and sociability.
In 1664, Prior Diogo Lobo da Silveira removed the Church’s baptismal font and took it to the Church of Our Lady of Oliveira. . It is believed that the 1st Portuguese King – Afonso Henriques – was baptized in it.
In 1872, the bell tower and elements from the front facade collapsed.
In 1873, given its decay and the Church’s symbolism – the association to King Afonso Henriques – the municipality unsicessfully tries to get its guardianship.
It was then issued a public subscription in order to assure the restoration and the works began in August, 1874. 700.000 réis were raised through public subscription, 1.200.000 réis through governamental grant and an undetermined sum was granted by Francisco Martins Sarmento.
In this re-qualification, held between 1874 and 1880, the lateral altars were removed (one was devoted to Our Lady of Grace and the other to St. Margaret) and the chancel arch, that had been replaced in 1795, was substituted by another better suiting the original medieval style.
In 1910, the Church of S. Miguel was classed as a National Monument (Diário do Governo, no. 136, June 16, 1910).
In 1927, the above mentioned baptismal font that had been removed in 1664, returned to its place of origin. It returns for the same reason it had been removed: so it would be cherished as where the place where 1st Portuguese King – Afonso Henriques – was supposedly baptized in.
In 1928, the sacristy, which had been added in an undetermined period, was demolished. However, the door that led into it was kept. These works were led by the DGEMN (Directorate General for National Buildings and Monuments), under the direct supervision of the architect Baltazar de Castro, granting the recovery of the roofs, fissure repairs and the removal of roots from a sycamore that were compromising the structure.
Betweeen 1938 and 1940 there was a new intervention under the DGEMN.
In 1952, the Diário do Governo (official Portuguese gazette at the time) classed the Guimarães Castle, Church of S. Miguel and the Ducal Palace as Special Protection Areas. This status was revised and considerably extended in 1955.