004 - Braga (part II) - Portugal

This is the second, and final part of our adventure in the great city of Braga, so here is more:

A very long time ago, myths and legends were the everyday stories told between Celtic people living peacefully in various tribes. Once the men in skirts (Romans) came to conquer these tribes, some fled on Atlantic, north (founding Ireland) and some stayed and became part of the province: Galicia. 

The capital of this newly formed territory was Bracara Augusta (Braga Augusta, after the name of the Emperor who conquered the region).

Click on the map

With more than 2000 years of history, this city has grown into a rich and beautiful destination but not in terms of money, but rather in terms of history (marked by the sandy-grey coloured stones of the many churches and cathedrals that are in contrast with the vivid colours, green spaces and youth found in present days). 

This is, the second part of Braga, in detail:

005.1 Braga Train Station and the Alfa Pendular – a train made by Fiat, that tilts. A lot. But is fast. And tilts. Take this train from Porto, and in about 40min you are already walking in Braga.

005.2 Next to the Avenida Central Park, that is in front of Igreja dos Congregados, there is paid parking place, both under and on top of the ground. From here you are close to many objectives.

005.3 Inside the huge Igreja dos Congregados. There are so many churches in Braga, that it actually got a nickname to go with that: Cidade dos Arcebispos” (Archbishop’s Town) and City of Churches.

005.4 With so many churches, you would think there is no place for Universities (greatest in Portugal), Theaters, Palaces, Sports, Youth or Nightlife. 

005.5 You would be wrong! Here is Lapa Church, a historical edifice that at dawn, changes into a very popular meeting, eating, drinking and dancing place.

005.6 And since you parked your car in the central area, as you look to the East you will find Bom Jesus Cathedral, up on the hill (far in the distance). To the left of the image, we see yet another Igreja, Nossa Senhora a Branca (usually we park the car in this area).

005.07 Back on the Av. da Liberdade (to search for a pharmacy)

005.08 Theatro Circo (on the same street)

005.09 Palacio do Raio, built during the baroque époque. It is so beautiful in real life that inspired me to try to remake it in Blender as seen on the first and last picture of this article.

005.10 As you pass the blue Palace (unseen in the left of the image), you enter this magnificent area that is guarded by Churches and a Hospital: Hospital de Sao Marcos. To the right of the image, we have yet another Igreja, de Santa Cruz, and also to the right of it is the road we will follow to reach the old centre and the Se Cathedral de Braga.

005.11 Grey stone and white walls, a Portuguese style. This is the Church of Hospital de Sao Marcos.

005.12 Hospital de Sao Marco with beautiful wooden windows

005.13 The Roman celebrations parade, and the Se Cathedral de Braga in the background.

005.14 This Cathedral was the “zero point” of Bracara Augusta, untill the late medieval ages. This religious and cultural place was the centre, the magnet, gathering all the artefacts for safekeeping. The huge history of this region, from Celtic tribes to Medieval times, is displayed within these walls.

005.15 Not to forget also religious artefacts and tombs. All well preserved, despite the long history (and the visit is for free, or at least we did not pay in 2017).

005.16 The walls of Antigo Paco/ Episcopal Palace. This sandy-stone edice looks more like a Medieval castle, full of Templars, secret texts and conspirations.

005.17 The walls and the garden of Antigo Paco/ Episcopal Palace. On other sides of the same palace, there are baroque influences, with white walls and grey pillars. In fact, there are 3 distinct architectural designs found on this Palace.

005.18 An abandoned house, right next to the Episcopal Palace, under the warm light of the sunset (sunsets in Portugal are just amazing).

005.19 Fonte dos Castelos, built in the XVIII-th century. Portraying a woman and the church, both symbols of Braga. This fountain is located at the Eastern wing of the Palace.

005.20 Detail shot of a dove and the Fountain of the Castles

005.21 Same place, with a view over Se Cathedral, but during festivities. We also see a roman coin "Braga Romana"

005.22 I don't remember seeing "azulejos" - white ceramic tiles, painted in sky blue, but there are few buildings that are orated with ceramic tiles, most beautiful, here in this picture (same area). 

005.23 One of the many colourful doors, found in Braga, and presented in the previous article. 

005.24 Capela Nossa Senhora da Torre

005.25 Next to Camera Municipal (as seen in the previous article)

005.26 The right side tower of People's Church. 

005.27 I don't know exactly what they were selling here (looked like a club or something) but this tree is one of a kind :) It has spikes all overt the trunk, definitely a must see in the area. 

005.28 One very, very old tower - Torre de Menagem

005.29 Igreja dos Terceiros, surrounded by colourful buildings, some with blue azulejos ceramics, decorating the facades, others resembling more with homes from Leon from Spain.

Combine the previous article with this one, and this is Braga, or at least a part of it. There are more historical buildings, modern art (there is a tower right next to Camara Municipal made out of square reflective plates) and lots of pubs and restaurants -> pretty logical since this is a university city filled with young people (is true, many actually go during the weekend to Porto/Gaia). 

I must say however that if you love trains, and you love collecting "artefacts", here in the Braga Train Station, there is a glass shelf with books, pictures, pins, keychains and much more (even old tickets). I bought each locomotive in pins and each model of keychain locomotive. I did not buy the books because they were heavy and I just got there and had to go explore. Now if you don't find the pins and stuff... well ask at the ticket shop, try English or French (or Spanish / Portuguese if you know any) and ask if they have gift shop with CP (Comboios de Portugal).

The one place I really wanted to see (in this area) was Bom Jesus Sanctuary. Depending on what travel book or magazine you buy, on the covor there can be Sintra with the Pena Castle (will be featured later on this website), Porto with the iconic bridge and boats, or actually Bom Jesus. It is really beautiful, provides a great view (but is not the only place to get a panorama over Braga, as it was seen in previous article) and many come here, from all over the world.

005.30 You can park the car at the base of the "mountain" and then climb the many stairs and admire the statues and paintings at each "respiro". These stairs all not hard to climb and there is plenty of places to sit and take a breath. 

005.31 Starting from here, 573 stairs separate you from the top of the "mountain". Some Christians even climb them, on their knees. I did not see any while I was here (twice). The second time I went here I also took most photos, since it was outside of the season and outside major festivity. 

005.32 Many well-tended flower areas ornate the front area and the front/side005.33s. 

005.33 Roses and again roses. They do attract bees so if you have a macro lens (with some zoom) then have fun in this area. 

005.34 The park is quite big, with many Chapels, all dedicated to Christianity, with paintings and statues depicting moments of His life. Also, there are fountains and caves to keep you entertained. Sadly, during the summer season I don’t think you will find this place peaceful.

005.35 And from up here you get a bird’s eye view over Braga and the summer forest fires that are spreading all across Portugal...Spain... France... and even Northern countries...

005.36 The photo everybody does when visiting Braga :)

005.36 Here, in Braga, is the oldest funicular of its kind in the world - that moves by water balancing. Despite the fact that this machine is over 136 yrs old, it can still carry 30 passengers upon a rise of 116 meters with a 42 degrees incline.

005.37 View from the base of the mountain.

We really hope you enjoyed this article, and as always, we hope you come back to fid out more.

Thank you,


The photos on this article were made in 2017 and 2018 (around spring)

They were shot on Canon 760D and Canon 80D

The photo lenses used in this article are:

Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 Canon EF-S Mount:1,2,10,11,13,14,15,23,24,28,32,33

Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 Canon EF-S Mount:3,4,6,7,8,9,§1,§6,17,18,19,20,21,22,25,26,27,29

Canon 24-70mm f/4L Canon EF Mount:30,31,34,35,36,37,38

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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