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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Take In the Culture Boom in Guimarães

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3. What to Do


Centro Cultural Vila Flor devotes more than ten-thousand square feet of exhibition space to its various programs.  

See where the city’s cultural revival began at Centro Cultural Vila Flor, which sits inside a restored eighteenth-century palace with a striking modern addition inaugurated in 2005. This year, the center features several events relating to Guimarães’s designation as 2012’s European Capital of Culture, in addition to its regular slate of music, dance, and theater performances as well as art exhibitions and film screenings. Upcoming performances include concerts by Eleanor Friedberger (of the Fiery Furnaces; May 15) and Laurie Anderson (May 22).

Check out the multidisciplinary offerings on display at the Center for Art and Architecture Affairs, unveiled last October in a former textile factory. This nonprofit collective promotes interaction between various fields, including visual arts, design, film, literature, media, performing arts, and architecture. Upcoming events include Frame Art, a video art and experimental cinema festival (May 3–July 8).

Visit the new Design Institute to see the schedule of events taking place here as part of the European Capital of Culture 2012 program. Opened in March in a former factory in Couros, a weathered part of town that was once the epicenter of the area’s booming leather industry, its inaugural exhibit focuses on product design, but it will become a center of study in September.

Keep an eye out for the Platform of Arts and Creativity, slated for a June opening in a former market in the city center. This multipurpose space will open with an exhibition by Portuguese painter José de Guimarães, with a display of his own artworks as well as pieces from his personal collection of African, Chinese, and pre-Columbian art. In addition, there will be rotating work spaces reserved for young artists developing temporary projects.


Published on Apr 27, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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