A short guide of Braga

Every time I come to BragaI have the same feeling: as if I came back to the historical heart of Portugal, to its Christian roots, the moment when everything started making sense for humanity. Though it might seem like a philosophical approach towards a small city, quite unknown to the large public, a short guide of Braga only tries to present some of the most significant events from its history, essential to its present development.

No future without a glorious past

Most of the tourists who come to Braga are in pursuit of the historical and artistic masterpieces that reflect a glorious past but few of them really know how Braga became a Portuguese territory. Populated since the prehistoric times by the Bracari (a Celtic people), Braga was conquered in the 2nd century BC by the Romans, renamed Bracara Augusta. Braga represented an important religious center in the 11th century when the city was appointed the seat of the Portuguese archbishops. This also explains the large number of religious edifices (more than 30 churches, statues, monuments etc) that you will discover while walking through Praça da Republica and the significance of the city in the religious history of the Portuguese people. The most important edifices which should be a must on your traveling list are Braga Cathedral, King’s Chapel, Archbishop’s Palace, Capela dos Coimbras, Bom Jesus Sanctuary, Saint Vincent Church.

How to get to Braga?

 If you are worried about getting to Braga, then let me tell you that you can easily reach the city from Porto or Lisbon by train or bus. The journey from Porto to Braga takes less than one hour and a half while the journey from the capital of Portugal takes more than five hours. If you want to visit the surroundings of Braga, then you should get the necessary information on the bus schedules. If you want to make the best out of your journey and prepare the travel itinerary according to your time schedule then a good idea could be renting a car. Automóvel Club de Portugal (including headquarter in Braga) provides a large number of cars at good prices. If you want to find out more about the internal transportation in Braga then visit the official page of the local bus company: www.tub.pt. Of course you can also rent a bicycle to move in Braga, easier and cheaper.

 A short guide of Braga was meant to offer you some tips on the best way to move around in this lovely city or outside of it. I also hope that the historical information (summarized to the minimum) stirred the interest of tourists passionate about history, archeology and religious edifices and made you take into consideration a trip to Braga.

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