Domus Municipalis (Bragança)
Historic Building in Bragança
The Domus Municipalis is a remarkable illustration of Romanesque civil architecture in the country and the highlight of Bragança. It is an irregular pentagon-shaped structure, featuring a vaulted cistern at the base, topped by a vast gallery surrounded by windows, which was identified as the meeting place of the county’s notable individuals. The construction date is a subject of debate, but it is believed that the upper part was built in the 13th century, and the cistern might be even older.
The use of stone is another unique feature of the Domus Municipalis, as such civil structures were typically made of wood due to the lack of funding from the municipal government or the State for such projects. The stone material played a significant role in its preservation over time.
The Romanesque friezes are notable for their decorative sculpture. The spacious interior features a bench along the walls and two doors on the longer side. The plain-framed windows are adorned with archivolt and star-shaped ornaments on seven of them. The five-story roof was added during a significant restoration campaign in the 20th century.
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