Braga (Portugal), the attractions of which attract the attention of millions, is located near Porto (50 km). The city is recognized as the center of Catholicism, since the beginning of the 16th century the residence of the archbishop has been located here. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and ordinary tourists flock here every year to enjoy unique architectural objects built in different historical eras.
Braga consists of two parts – the old and the new. Of course, tourists are more interested in the old city, the entrance to it is decorated with the gates of Arco da Porta Nova, which were built at the end of the 18th century.
The best time to travel to the center of Catholicism in Portugal is Easter, when you can take part in many religious events.
Photo: the main attraction of Braga (Portugal), aerial view.
There are so many attractions in Braga in Portugal that it is almost impossible to see them all in a few days. We have selected the most interesting and significant. The city itself is described here .
Sanctuary Bon Jesús do Monti
Located in close proximity to the Tenoinsh district, on a hill, it offers a surprisingly picturesque landscape. Pilgrims begin the ascent from a bizarre staircase 116 meters long.
The history of the shrine begins in the 14th century, when a cross and a chapel of the Holy Cross were erected on a hill. Chapels were erected here for two hundred years, and at the beginning of the 17th century the brotherhood of Jesús de Monte was created. The initiator of this event was the archbishop. By his decision, a temple was built in Braga, the appearance of which has been preserved today.
The temple and landscape complex was arranged for a hundred years, winding paths were made out, chapels were built, the appearance of which resembled grottoes decorated with biblical scenes. At the end of the 19th century, a tram was installed here, which connected the temple and the lower city.
The facade is made in the shape of a cross, decorated with two belfries, the arches of which are made in the form of bulbs. At the edges of the entrance there are two niches in which the sculptures of the prophets are installed, and in the courtyard there are statues on biblical themes.
The name of the shrine means – The Sanctuary of Christ at Calvary. The landscape complex attracts not only millions of pilgrims, but also architects who come here for inspiration.
The staircase is undoubtedly the pearl of the complex. It consists of several spans:
- at the portico;
- five senses;
- three virtues.
On the stairs of Bon Geshes do Monti you can see the fountains, amazing sculptures that symbolize human feelings, as well as three virtues.
Note! The park complex has tennis courts, cafes and restaurants, playgrounds, recreation areas.
Where to find the attraction : three miles or 4.75 km southeast of Braga on highway N 103, Portugal.
Funicular in Braga
An interesting and atmospheric attraction of the city of Braga in Portugal is the funicular that leads to the temple complex Bom Jesus do Monte. For a ridiculous fee, a tram will help tourists climb to the temple. The funicular is located in a picturesque place, surrounded by trees and dense vegetation, in this tunnel it is pleasant to relax. The cost of a one-way ticket is 1.2 euros, and a two-way ticket costs 2 euros.
The tram is the first in Portugal – built at the end of the 19th century and runs on water traction. The funicular gives a funny signal before each departure.
Location: Largo do Santuario do Bom Jesus, Braga, Portugal.
Helpful advice! Such a tram is very useful for older people who find it difficult to overcome a long staircase. The best way is to go up to the temple by funicular, and go down the stairs.
Cathedral of Santa Maria de Braga
This cathedral is recognized as the most significant architectural object in Braga. Its greatness was noted by many church representatives, architects, sculptors and artists.
The temple was erected in stages. Construction work began in 1071, 18 years later chapels in the eastern part were completed and work stopped. Soon, work resumed and continued until the 13th century.
The temple is decorated in a Romanesque style. A little later, chapels and a prechurch decorated in the Gothic style were added to the main building. The wall of the temple is decorated with a sculpture of the Virgin Mary.
The exterior design of the complex is a mixture of several architectural styles, popular at that time.
Inside the building is divided into several parts and all of it is worth a look. Also in the temple are two ancient organs. Of particular interest is the main chapel.
Interesting to know! In the Royal Chapel, the parents of the first Portuguese monarch are buried; in the chapel of Glory, Archbishop Gonzalo Pereira is buried.
Where is: Se Primaz Rua Dom Paio Mendes, Braga.
The shrine is located a few kilometers from the sanctuary of Bon Jesús de Monte on a hill (about half a kilometer above sea level). From here, Braga is visible, as if in the palm of your hand. The shrine is on the list of the most visited and largest in Portugal.
The sanctuary is noteworthy with a beautiful altar made of exquisite granite, white. There is also a cancer made of silver, and a sculpture of the Madonna. A long staircase leads to the sanctuary, and columns decorated with sculptures of the Virgin Mary and Christ adorn the entrance.
At the end of the 20th century, the Pope served in the sanctuary, about a hundred thousand believers listened to him. After the memorable event, a monument to John Paul II was erected here, and earlier a monument to Pope Pius IX was erected.
Interesting! Most believers gather here on the first Saturday of June and on the last Saturday of August.
Location on the map of Portugal : Avenida Nossa Sra. do Sameiro 44, Monte do Sameiro, Braga.
Gardens of Santa Barbara
When asked what to see in Braga (Portugal), tourists definitely answer – the gardens of Santa Barbara. They appeared in the middle of the last century and are located at the western, most ancient wall of the episcopal castle, where the library is located. Many tourists who have been here call the attraction the most picturesque in the country.
The garden is decorated in the Renaissance style, the territory is very well-groomed, different types of plants grow here. Boxwood flowerbeds planted in the correct geometric shape and decorated with cedars cause admiration.
In the central part of the park area you can see the fountain and the statue of St. Barbara. The last ri of life saved from sudden death, from a sea storm and fire. The northern and southern parts of the garden are separated by a dilapidated arcade of the medieval era.
Location: Eastern wing of the Archiepiscopal Court, Rua Francisco Sanches, Braga, Portugal.
The main attraction of Braga is the Republic Square, which connects two parts of the city – ancient and modern. Of greatest interest is the ancient part, where Gothic buildings of the 16-17th centuries are preserved. Many tourists from exactly the Republic Square start sightseeing in Braga, since all the significant shrines are within walking distance.
Directly on the square there is the House of Mercy, built in the 16th century, its first floor is decorated with tiles, columns, and the arch is decorated with a crucifix. In the center there is a fountain with a cross and a town hall.
Location : Praca da Republica, Braga.
Biscainews Palace and Garden
An ancient baroque castle is located next to the Cathedral in Braga. The modern appearance of the palace has changed several times, since the structure has been changed many times. Many architects call it a masterpiece of art. The rooms are very elegantly decorated – the walls are decorated with ceramic tiles, decorated with paintings. It will be interesting to see such beauty.
The garden laid in 1750 deserves special attention. According to the architect’s plan, the garden is made in several tiers, each planted with unique plants, sculptures and fountains are installed. The garden, like the palace, is baroque.
It is interesting! For three centuries, the palace complex belonged to private individuals, the state bought the attraction in 1963.
Where is: Rua Joao Braga, Braga.
Braga (Portugal), whose attractions are fascinating and help to organize thoughts, invites you to visit numerous museums. The most interesting are the Pius XII Museum and the Noguera da Silva Museum.