003 - Braga (part I) - Portugal

 Religion, history, youth, education, legends, azulejos, colourful doors, ancient Rome, community - these are some of the things to expect in Braga.

Welcome to the 3rd article on Europe on Camera. This time we make a stop in Braga (in fact, we actually spent a few days here in Braga in the span of 2 years).

Braga used to be the capital of the old Roman Province of Galicia and was named Braga Augusta.

The city is very beautiful and rich in history with medieval castles, towers, dragons, antique shops and much, much more, as you shall see in these two articles (003 and 004). 

Braga is also a student city, filled with schools, bars, youth, cheap yet good places to eat, cheap yet good hotels, great cinemas (I used to come here from Spain because the movies are in Original language and not dubbed in Spanish, plus I can eat at Salad Box...)

Click on the map
003.1 Braga in huge capital letters, next to the Camara Municipal de Braga. 

003.2 Bom Jesus do Monte, the most impressive religious establishment in Portugal (in my opinion). Finished in 1881 it features beautiful architecture and gardens, a great view over Braga, lots of tourists and a Funicular (dating from 1882). This is a must see place, and is also a major stop on the Camino de Santiago.

003.3 Palacio do Raio or The-Gorgeous-Blue-Ceramic Palace, built in the XVIII-th century. It is hard to miss actually. 

003.4 Se Cathedral and a vintage car. No, you will not find them both, but know this: here in the VI-th century a religious establishment was destroyed, and by the XI-th century this Cathedral took it's place. Also to the left of the photo, there is a street with dozens of restaurants, hand made objects, antiques and lots more.

003.5 On the Rua Dom Paio Mendes you can find everything from hand painted guitars to cotton ice-creams.

003.6 Hand made store on Rua Dom Paio Medes

003.7 In this area and especially towards the Pio Museum, is a festival of colors on the streets -> starting with colorful ceramics. Here we learn that in Portugal there aren`t only azulejos (blue ceramic tiles specific to this country).

003.8 As you walk around the city, is hard not to observe that many doors are actually very colorful. While I was thinking about that, I remembered one of my favorite Pixar Animations: Monsters Inc. So I made a collage of some of the doors because I don`t know a better way on how to showcase this. There is also a Legend about the doors in Braga, so check that one on the bottom of this article. 

003.9 But not all is colors and joy in Braga. Irmandade de Santa Cruz, next to the Sao Marcos (in my back as I am taking the photo) is one huge cathedral with an impressive fa├žade. Follow the road to the left and you will find the colorful buildings/doors seen above.

003.10 Arches, stone and white paint. This Edificio do Castelor is deserted, or so it was when I made the picture in 2017. Every time I look at this picture, I see a corner of Venice. 

003.11 Hidden behind tall churches and empty buildings, lies one of the last vestiges of the XIV-th century fortifications -> the Tower of Braga.

003.12 Guarding over Braga, on top of the Tower, lies a green Dragon. I am joking, in fact, this fountain statue lies next to the Santa Barbara gardens and it sits at ground level, outside a commercial centre. But it looks very good and there is no wonder as to why it attracts kids and parents like a magnet. 

003.13 Santa Barbara garden and the walls of Antigo Paco (some of it dates as far as the XIV-th century, while the rest dates closer to our days). More on this in the next article. 

003.14 The view over Braga from Monte do Picoto (the place where teenagers eat their McDonalds and watch the sunset)

Do you wish to see a lot more, in depth? Join us on the next article where we share more on Braga.

But before you jump there, know that getting to Braga can be done via airplane, from Porto, and from there you can rent a car, or take an almost one hour bus, or finally take a fast train (tickets from Porto, at vending machines, in English). 

Also Braga is big, you need half a day just to get to the cathedral on top of the mountain. Then another half a day just for a part of the center. The Se Cathedral is pretty big also and is free to visit (we will show more in the next article). So what I am trying to say is that you might need two days to see (very fast) Braga without counting the day of arrival and departure. 

Thank you very much for viewing this article, and we hope you will enjoy the other ones also.

The photos on this article were made during 5 sessions, from 2017 to 2018.

They were shot on Canon 80D

The photo lenses used in this article are:

Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 Canon EF-S Mount: 4, 6, 7

Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF-S Mount: 1, 2, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Canon 24-70mm f/4L Canon EF Mount: 3

Canon 50mm f/1,8 Canon EF Mount: 5

Most photos are shot at lowest ISO possible, for the highest aperture available, in order to obtain a good exposure time. 

All shot in manual mode.

No phone camera photos in this article. 

No HDR photos in this article.

No AI in any way, shape or form

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