I've visited this shrine twice. The first time I didn't have the opportunity to climb the stairs so I had to return to do so and to see everything that they hold. It's an interesting walk that ends at the church with spectacular views of the city of Braga. It's worth it but if you do not want to do the stairs you can go up in a car.
The Chapter House is the prettiest room in the Tibães Monastery. It's where they made many big decisions, such as choosing the rulers of each monastery every three years. It was built in 1700, but later it was completely reconstructed in 1783. It is a very large, rectangular room with a coffered ceiling covered with carved and painted wood, with a wooden border around the perimeter that is carved with floral motifs, and birds and angels' heads.
It has three large windows and an altar dedicated to Frei José de Santo António Vilaça and an allusive picture of the Holy Spirit. The walls are covered with tile panels with a Rococo style that depicts scenes from Joseph's life in Egypt. Above them there are several other pictures from the eighteenth century that portray popes and other people from the Benedictine Order.
The Pópulo Convent is attached to the church of the same name, in the Praça Conde de Agrolongo. Construction (of the convent and church) began in the sixteenth century, but underwent several changes over the centuries. Since 1834, with the extinction of the religious orders, it became the property of the City Council and was the seat of the Infantry, now it houses various municipal offices. The most significant features inside are large panels of tiles (XVIII century) especially the grand staircase, it can be visited free of charge with prior agreement with the House. Religious and naturalistic motifs are represented.
There are two cabins which are held by the same cable. When one comes up, their deposits are filled with water. The bottom one empties their deposits and this way is how the breaks make it go up while the other goes down. it´s truly ingenious and ecological. It´s a nice and pretty place. Don´t miss out.
In Republic Square is the building known as Arcade, built by Rodrigo de Moura Teles in 1715, replacing one by Diego de Sousa. The Church of Our Lady of Lapa and Café Vianna are also here and it's a place with a lot of life. Nearby is the Tourist Office, so it's an essential place to visit.
The eighteenth century New Gate Arch was designed by André Soares and is Baroque and Neoclassical. The Baroque façade is facing towards the outside of the city and has the coat of arms of Archbishop Gaspar de Braganza. The Neoclassical façade faces the interior and is crowned by a statue of Our Lady of Nazareth.
This theater is located in the central pedestrian area of Avenida da Liberdade. The building is notable for its monumental façade, mainly made of stone but has also has areas painted in a striking red. The theater was built in 1911 and is one of the largest and most beautiful theaters in Portugal, with a capacity of 1,500 people. As is the case for almost all theaters, there was a decline following the cinema revolution. However, in 1988 it was acquired by the City Council of Braga ve restored it and since late 2006 it has become the main cultural focus of the city and hosts all kinds of events and performing arts (theater, opera, ballet, concerts, conferences, exhibitions etc).You can call to arrange a guided tour inside the theater. They are held on Mondays and admission is €1.5.
A Baroque building built 1753-1754 by André Soares. In 1863, the street in front was opened to get a better view of the palace. From 1883 the Holy House of Mercy installed some services of the Hospital de San Marcos and in 1956 it was declared a Site of Public Interest. The building is very nice, though when we went the streets, like most of Braga, were under construction.
The San Marcos Hospital Church was built in the 18th century. The wings were designed by José Graça Fernandes and the stone work and sculpture were made by Carlos Amarante. Free from Rococo influence, has baroque features are visible in the projection of the central body of the facade, where there is a statue of St. Mark, patron of the church. There are also classical motifs that stand on the facade. The relics of the Apostle of St. Mark's body can also be found in the Church. The facade is impressive. Inside we took a quick look but we couldn´t see it too well because there was a mass.
This chapel is attached to one of the ancient gates of the city of Santiago. It was built in a Rocco style in 1755 by Andre Soares. The visit allowed us to get to the top of the tower, where we could see, in addition to the history of the city and its evolution, a collection of antique items as typewriters, telephones, sewing machines, cameras, coins, stamps , etc ... For a higher price admission to the Museum Pio XII is included, but you can get them separately if you wish. We didn´t like the visit too much, the history of the city is told on interactive screens are very slow and usually you aren´t visiting for such a long time. The best is no doubt the views of the Braga.
The Episcopal Palace of Braga is very strange because it took such a long time to build (since the s. XIV to XVIII). Inside its buildings we can see the evolution of architectural styles. The part of the wall is the oldest, and was constructed with granite and resembles a fortress. We don´t know exactly if you can enter the courtyard to see this part closer, but still it is well worth seeing. Also you can go a little way to Santa Barbara Garden to see everything much better.
The Holy Cross Church was built in the first quarter of the 17th century and is in the Baroque style. In the 18th century it had to go through sanitary work, having to demolish the whole church, leaving only the facade. The church is very beautiful, especially the outside. We were impressed by the decor of the header. We must also take into account the organ of course.
The Church of San Joao de Souto is attached to the Chapel and House of Coimbra. It was built in the late 18th century. The original church was built in the 12th century. It was donated to the Archbishop of Braga Don Joao Pedro Aurives Peculiar by Gelvira Midiz and his wife in 1161. Here is where Francisco Sanches was baptized. The present church was built by Archbishop Don Gaspar de Braganza. It's a small church, but nice. When we visited we were lucky that the organist was practicing which made the visit that much more beautiful!
This palace-museum is on the street leading from the Igreja do Pópulo to Arco da Porta Nova, and has been declared Property of Public Interest (IPP). It was built in the seventeenth century to house Dr. Constantino Ribeiro Lago (then one of the most illustrious personalities Braga) and was renovated in 1712 by Francisco Pereira da Silva, commissioning works by famous architect Manuel Fernandes da Silva. It's baroque consisting of 2 bodies joined in an L shape, with 2 entrances, one for people and one for carriages, its facade is linear and has multiple windows on the ground floor and balconies on the top. The museum exhibition shows how it was a palatial building in the eighteenth century and the lifestyle of the nobility. Furniture, jewelry, ceramics, glass, textiles, musical instruments, transportation, prints, sculpture carvings, tiles, paint, etc. from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries can be seen. You can also visit the palace gardens (10,000 m2). Entry fee: € 2 but free on Sundays and holidays in the morning. Hours: Monday-Sunday: 10.00-12.15 and 14.00-17.30.
This house and chapel is located by the Largo São João do Souto , attached to the right side of the Igreja São João do Souto and is declared a National Monument of Portugal. It is also known as Capela de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Capela dos Coimbras or Capela do Senhor Morto. It consists of two buildings: Next to the church of São João do Souto is the small private chapel, with a stone facade, and it is separated from the second body of the building by a small garden. The latter is a Manueline-style mansion built in the fifteenth century as the residence of ecclesiastics. The chapel is shaped like a square tower and is dedicated to Our Lady of the Conception.
The Congregados Basilica began construction in the XVI century and is the work of architect Andre Soares. The construction lasted until the 20th century. The work was finished in 1964 with the construction of the towers and the collocation of the statues of the outside, San Felipe Neri and San Martinho de Dume, work of the sculptor Manuel da Silva Nogueira. It´s a pretty church, we liked it a lot for the uniformity and for the light. The door that seperates the door from the exit with the church and calls a lot of attention.
Every Sunday in Braga, outside the Municipal Market, there is an ornithological market. It just so happened that we saw the Igreja do Carmo and we noticed from afar a large group of people, and the overwhelming sound of birds chirping, so we went to see what was happening. There were lots of stalls with an amazing variety of birds of different species and sizes (canaries, finches, parakeets, parrots ...) and all kinds of accessories for birds (cages, feeders, feed, etc). Of course, they were are for sale. There was also, to a lesser extent, stalls with puppies. Of course, I thought it was a really interesting flea market as I had never seen one anywhere else. The Municipal Market is a relatively modern concrete building (dating back to 1980) which was designed by architect Eduardo Souto de Moura.
The Republic Square is a good starting point to explore the essential things to see in Braga. You can get to it through the New Gate Arch, the ancient gate of the city wall built in the 16th century and renovated by the architect André Soares.
Walking through the pedestrian streets of the old town you'll find two of the most important monuments of the city which are also top Braga attractions: the Braga Cathedral and the Archbishop's Palace. Other mandatory places to visit in Braga for its importance as a religious center are the church do Populo (which follows the design of the Church of the Gesu in Rome), the chapel of Coimbra, the Church of Mercy, and the church of Nossa Senhora. You can also visit other royal attractions in Braga like its many palaces: the Rairo palace and the palace of the Biscainhos, with its characteristic blue tiles and Manueline windows.
However, it's at the edge of town where you'll find the two most famous things to do in Braga: the sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte and the sanctuary do Sameiro, the second most important pilgrimage center of Marian devotion in Portugal after Fatima.
If you're still wondering what to do in Braga besides visiting religious monuments, two of the most interesting Braga activities are visiting the National Park Pereda-Gerês (the only national park in the country that's just an hour outside of the city) and the upper valley of the river Cávado, one of the most important tourist resources in Portugal.
Browse among the many experiences shared by minube users about stuff to do in Braga and discover all the things to do in Braga, like visiting the Pelicano Fountain, the Largo do Paço, or the ruins of Citânia Briteiros.