Palácio do Raio

Historic Building and Museum in Braga

Raio Palace
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Joseolgon

The Palácio do Raio was built during the reign of king João V (1706-50), this is a wonderful example of Baroque civil architecture and designed by André Soares for José Duarte de Faria. He was a knight of the Order of Christ in addition to being a highly influential trader. In 1834, the property was purchased by Miguel José Raio, Viscount of São Lázaro who is believed to have bestowed the name House or Palace of Raio.

In terms of adornment, there is the tile covered façade, wonderful banisters embellished with flame effects and amphoras, and the verandas in forged iron and worked granite. The inner staircase is also worthy of note.

Visiting the Centro Interpretativo das Memórias da Misericórdia de Braga

In this Interpretive Center, it will be possible to discover the multi-century history of the Holy House of Mercy, through ten thematic groups. From Sacred Art to painting, going through the sculpture and pottery, until the jewellery and archival documentation, the permanent exhibition of the collection is presented in an interactive and dynamic way, with ambient sound effects, videos and other elements that also allow contemplating the architectonical and artistic beauty of the building.

The visit starts with the evocation of two of the biggest symbols of Braga’s architecture: André Soares e Carlos Amarante. The visitor is invited to know the story of the Sisterhood and of the Mercy of Braga, with the focus on the role played in the assistance and support to the neediest. And because talking about the Mercy is like talking about the Hospital of S. Marcos, founded in 1508, the Interpretive centre shows articles linked to the apothecary and former hospital’s medical devices. Also exposed are documents from the XVI, XVII and XVIII centuries that keep the past of the health care given to the Hospital of S. Marcos.

The Palácio do Raio appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Braga!

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Visiting Palácio do Raio


Museum: 10am-1pm & 2.30-6.30pm Tue-Sat

Address: Palácio do Raio, Braga Norte, Braga, Portugal
Duration: 20 minutes

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