The premises of the United Nations University Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance (UNU-EGOV) are located near the historical city centre of Guimarães, Portugal.
Situated in the north of the country, about 320 km from the capital (Lisbon), Guimarães is one of the oldest cities in Portugal and is historically associated with the foundation and identity of the Portuguese nationality. Established in the 9th century, at the time called Vimaranes, it played a major role in the foundation of the country. The city was the main government seat of the County of Portugal, which existed between the years 868-1139 and was, at the time, part of the larger Kingdom of Spain. In this location in the 12th century was born D. Afonso Henriques, who was crowned the first King of Portugal. For that reason, Guimarães is known as “the cradle of the Portuguese nationality”. The nickname of D. Afonso Henriques was “The Conqueror” due to his battling efforts to gain independence from Spain and establish the Kingdom of Portugal in 1139. He was also a relentless fighter against the Moors and until his death in 1185 conquered from them most of what today is modern Portugal.
The historical city centre of Guimarães, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001, has been the subject of several regeneration projects, which included the regeneration of an old leather manufacturing area known as “Couros” (“couro” is the Portuguese word for “leather”). The UNU-EGOV premises are located in the Postgraduate School of the Couros Campus, part of the University of Minho, very close to the old city walls. Other buildings reconstructed as part of this urban regeneration project include the Science Center, the Institute of Design and the Jordão Theater. All of them together create a space for education, research and creativity that entangles history with creativity and technology.
Portugal is served by three major airports, located in the north (Porto International Airport, OPO), in the south (Faro Airport, FAO), and in the capital (Lisbon International Airport, LIS).
Porto Airport, also called Airport Fancisco Sá Carneiro, is the best choice to reach Guimarães, as it is served by all major European airlines and is located relatively close to the city. From the airport, there are several ways to get to Guimarães:
Another possibility to reach Portugal is to land at Lisbon International Airport, which is the main airport in the country. From there, there are several ways to get to Guimarães: