Built over 2,000 years ago, the “Brakara Augusta”, as the name suggests, was founded by Augustus; It was located on one of the main Roman roads on the Iberian Peninsula, since it was the administrative center of the Empire, and later Emperor Caracalla was given the status of the capital of the Roman province of Galletia, modern Galicia. The Diocese of Braga is the oldest in Portugal, and in the Middle Ages the city even competed with Santiago de Compostela in strength and significance. One of the Caminos de Santiago passed here when this pilgrimage cult grew along with the Christian conquest and the founding of Portugal.
Braga is a city in the north of Portugal, northeast of Porto. The city is known for its religious heritage and events. It is a city and municipality in the northwestern Portuguese district of Braga, in the historical and cultural province of Minho. As of 2011, the city’s population is 192,494, which is the seventh largest municipality in Portugal (by population). Its area is 183.40 km². Its agglomerated urban area stretches from the Cavado River to the Este River. It is known as the third largest urban center in Portugal. In 2012, the city became the European youth capital.
Here is the oldest Portuguese archdiocese; the Brach archdiocese of the Catholic Church, as well as the residence of the Archbishop of Portugal and Hispanic primates (shares the last title – “Hispanic” – with the Archbishop of Toledo and Archbishop Santiago de Compostela). Under the Roman Empire, then known as Bracara Augusta, the settlement was the capital of the province of Galletia. Inside the city there is also a castle tower, which can be visited. Braga is currently a major center in northern Portugal.
In the east, the Bom Jesusdo Monte complex has a neoclassical church at the top of a challenging 17-span staircase. In the center of the city, in the medieval cathedral of Braga, there is a museum of sacred art and a chapel in the Gothic style. Nearby is the imposing archbishop’s palace overlooking the garden of Santa Barbara. The medieval fortress of Braga is located behind the main square of the city, Praca da Republica, famous for its fountains, arcade buildings and cafes. The Biscainhos Museum, in an elegant palace, features decorative art and artifacts. In the museum D. Diogo de Sousa exhibits antique items from the region. The prehistoric settlement Citania de Briteiros is located east of Braga. The century-old monastery of San Martínio de Tibaez is in the west. Barcelos, located in the west, is famous for its handicrafts and a large weekly market. In the northeast, in the Peneda Geres National Park is rich in wilderness.
The main attractions of Braga:
• The Bom Jesus church and baroque staircase
• Palacio dos Biscainhos and gardens
• The ancient Se Cathedral
• The imposing Convento do Pópulo
• The Igreja de Santa Cruz and Largo de Santa Cruz plaza
850 km of spectacular beaches washed by the Atlantic Ocean and 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, Portugal is an ideal holiday destination all year round because of its mild climate.