Braga City Guide
Braga is a town steeped in history, with a plethora of churches, palaces, gardens, and fountains visible almost everywhere you turn. The Romans knew it as Bracara Augusta, and it has been inhabited by various conquerors, including the Suevi, Visigoths, and Moors. For centuries, it has served as an archiepiscopal seat and pilgrimage site, with the Visigoths reputed to have abandoned their heresies there. Braga is also a renowned religious capital, hosting Portugal’s most magnificent Semana Santa (Holy Week) observances, featuring torch-lit processions of hooded participants that may evoke images of the KKK.
Despite its rich history, Braga is a contemporary city, bustling with commerce and industry. The city centre, home to the historic core and cathedral, is surrounded by a thriving periphery that encompasses a range of manufacturing industries such as brick-making, soap-making, textiles, smelting, engineering, and leather goods. With a population of 65,000 residents, Braga’s streets are now noisy, filled with increasing numbers of unsightly and uninspired apartment blocks, and subject to traffic congestion on roads that not so long ago only had a few cars and perhaps a donkey or two. Despite being known as Portugal’s most conservative city politically, Braga has a lively nightlife that has earned it the nickname “Lisbon in miniature,” thanks to its youthful population.
Santa Barbara Garden
Pius XII & Medina Museum
Torre de Menagem
Arco da Porta Nova
Praça da República (Braga)
Palácio do Raio
Fonte do Ídolo
Museu D. Diogo de Sousa
Termas Romanas do Alto da Cividade
Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga
Monastery of São Martinho de Tibães
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sameiro
Citânia de Briteiros
Capela de São Frutuoso (Braga)
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