Braga

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Braga
Braga Banco Portugal (cropped).jpg
Basilica Nossa Senhora do Sameiro (6) (cropped).jpg
Igreja do Convento dos Congregados, Braga (16778987800).jpg
Bom Jesus 2017 (9) (cropped).jpg
Aerial photograph of Mosteiro de Tibaes (6) (cropped).jpg
Arco da Porta Nova - panoramio.jpg
Paco Episcopal Bracarense Barroco (cropped2).jpg
Pt-brg1.png
Flag
BRG.png
Coat of arms
LocalBraga.svg
Coordinates: 41°33′4″N8°25′42″W / 41.55111°N 8.42833°W / 41.55111; -8.42833 Coordinates: 41°33′4″N8°25′42″W / 41.55111°N 8.42833°W / 41.55111; -8.42833
CountryFlag of Portugal.svg  Portugal
Region Norte
Intermunic. comm. Cávado
District Braga
Parishes 37, see text
Government
   President Ricardo Rio (PSD)
Area
  Total183.40 km2 (70.81 sq mi)
Elevation
200 m (700 ft)
Highest elevation
558 m (1,831 ft)
Population
 (2011)
  Total192,494
  Density1,000/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
Time zone UTC±00:00 (WET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+01:00 (WEST)
Postal code
470x
Area code 253
Website www.cm-braga.pt

Braga ( /ˈbrɑːɡə/ BRAH-gə, Portuguese:  [ˈbɾaɣɐ] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Proto-Celtic : *Bracara) is a city and a municipality in the northwestern Portuguese district of Braga, in the historical and cultural Minho Province. The city has a resident population of 192,494 inhabitants (in 2011), [1] representing the seventh largest municipality in Portugal (by population). Its area is 183.40 km2. [2] Its agglomerated urban area extends from the Cávado River to the Este River. It is the third-largest urban centre in Portugal (after Lisbon and Porto).

Contents

It is host to the oldest Portuguese archdiocese, the Archdiocese of Braga of the Catholic Church and it is the seat of the Primacy of the Spains. Under the Roman Empire, then known as Bracara Augusta, the settlement was the capital of the province of Gallaecia. Inside of the city there is also a castle tower that can be visited. Nowadays, Braga is a major hub for inland Northern Portugal and it is an important stop on the Portuguese Way path of the Road of St James. The city was also the European Youth Capital in 2012. [3]

History

A 16th-century map of Braga, when the city was enclosed by its mediaeval wall. The large building in the centre is the Cathedral, while the Episcopal Palace and courtyards can be seen above the cathedral and the ancient Castle of Braga Braga-mapa mediaval.jpg
A 16th-century map of Braga, when the city was enclosed by its mediaeval wall. The large building in the centre is the Cathedral, while the Episcopal Palace and courtyards can be seen above the cathedral and the ancient Castle of Braga
Ponte de Prozelo, Braga Ponte do Porto (5).JPG
Ponte de Prozelo, Braga
The 18th century municipal hall that houses the local government authority Camara de braga.jpg
The 18th century municipal hall that houses the local government authority
The skyline of Braga during the mid-19th century. Vista da cidade de Braga c1849-1873.jpg
The skyline of Braga during the mid-19th century.

Pre-Romans

Human occupation of the region of Braga dates back thousands of years, documented by vestiges of monumental structures starting in the Megalithic era. During the Iron Age, the Castro culture extended into the northwest, characterized by Bracari peoples who occupied the high ground in strategically located fortified settlements (castrum).

The region became the domain of the Callaici Bracarii, or Bracarenses, a Celtic [4] tribe who occupied what is now northern Portugal, Galicia and Asturias in the northwest of Iberia.

Roman rule

The Romans began their conquest of the region around 136 BC, and finished it, by pacifying the northern regions, during the reign of Emperor Augustus. The civitas of Bracara Augusta was founded in 20 BC; in the context of the administrative reorganization of these Roman acquisitions, Bracara was rededicated to the Emperor taking on the name Bracara Augusta. The city of Bracara Augusta developed greatly during the 1st century and reached its maximum extension around the 2nd century.

Towards the end of the 3rd century, the Emperor Diocletian promoted the city to the status of capital of the administrative area Conventus bracarensis, the southwestern area of the newly founded Roman province of Gallaecia.

Braga in Late Antiquity and Middle Ages

Iberia 500.svg

During the Germanic Invasions of the Iberian Peninsula, the area was conquered by the Suebi, a Germanic people from Central Europe. In 410, the Suebi established a Kingdom in northwest Iberia covering what is present-day's Northern half of Portugal, [5] Galicia and Asturias, which they maintained as Gallaecia, and had Bracara as their capital. This kingdom was founded by Hermeric and lasted for over 150 years. By about 584, the Visigoths took over control of Gallaecia from the Suebi, and Braga was made a provincial capital.

A 17th-century engraving of Braga, showing the walls of the city, which were progressively demolished to make way for new constructions Braga-sec-xvii.png
A 17th-century engraving of Braga, showing the walls of the city, which were progressively demolished to make way for new constructions
A view of Rua Julio Lima at the beginning of the 20th century Rua Julio Lima.JPG
A view of Rua Júlio Lima at the beginning of the 20th century

Braga had an important role in the Christianization of the Iberian Peninsula. The first known bishop of Braga, Paternus, lived at the end of the 4th century, although Saint Ovidius (d. 135 AD) is sometimes considered one of the first bishops of this city. In the early 5th century, Paulus Orosius (a friend of Augustine of Hippo) wrote several theological works that expounded the Christian faith. Thanks to the work of Saint Martin of Braga the Suebi in Iberia renounced the Arian and Priscillianist heresies during two synods held here in the 6th century. At the time, Martin also founded an important monastery in Dumio (Dume), and it was in Braga that the Archbishopric of Braga held their councils. As a consequence, the archbishops of Braga later claimed the title of Primate of Portugal, then a county, and for a long period, claimed supremacy over the entire Hispanic church. Yet, their authority was never accepted throughout Hispania.

The transition from Visigothic reigns to the Muslim conquest of Iberia was very obscure, representing a period of decline for the city. The Moors briefly captured Braga early in the 8th century, but were repelled by Christian forces under Alfonso III of Asturias in 868 with intermittent attacks until 1040 when they were definitely ousted by Ferdinand I of León and Castile. As a consequence, the bishopric was restored in 1070: the first new bishop, Pedro (Peter), started rebuilding the Cathedral (which was modified many times during the following centuries).

Between 1093 and 1147, Braga became the residential seat of the Portuguese court. In the early 12th century, Count Henry of Portugal and bishop Geraldo de Moissac reclaimed the archbishopric seat for Braga, with power over a large area in Iberia. The medieval city developed around the cathedral, with the maximum authority in the city retained by the archbishop.

Braga in the Kingdom of Portugal

Braga as the main center of Christianity in Iberia, during the Reconquista (until the emergence of Santiago de Compostela and, later, the conquest of Toledo from the Muslims, in 1085), held a prominent stage in medieval politics, being a major contributor to the Independence of Portugal with the intervenience of the Archbishop D. Paio Mendes in the Vatican, with Pope Alexander III, which lead to the promulgation of the Bula Manifestis Probatum, in 1179, recognizing Portugal as an independent Kingdom under D. Afonso I Henriques.

The following centuries marked a slow decline in its prestige and influence marked by the infamous theft of Holy Relics (including those of Saint Martin of Dume) by the then Archbishop of Santiago of Compostela Gelmirez. The relics only returned to Braga in the 1960s.

In the 16th century, due to its distance from the coast and provincial status, Braga did not profit from the adventures associated with the Age of Portuguese Discoveries (which favoured cities like Lisbon, Évora and Coimbra, new seats for the Portuguese court). Yet, Archbishop Diogo de Sousa, who sponsored several urban improvements in the city, including the enlargement of streets, the creation of public squares and the foundation of hospitals and new churches managed to modernize the community. He expanded and remodelled the cathedral by adding a new chapel in the Manueline style, and generally turning the mediaeval town into a Renaissance city.

A similar period of rejuvenation occurred during the 18th century, when the archbishops of the House of Braganza contracted architects like André Soares and Carlos Amarante, to modernize and rejuvenate the city; they began a series of architectural transformations to churches and civic institutions in the Baroque style, including the municipal hall, public library, the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte and many urban palaces.

In March 1809 it was the scene of the Battle of Braga, when French troops under Marshal Soult took the town from its Portuguese garrison. With the invasion of French troops, during the Peninsular Wars the city was relegated, once again, to a provincial status. But, by the second half of that century, with influence from Portuguese immigrants living in Brazil, new money and tastes resulted in improvements to architecture and infrastructures.

Republic

In the 20th century Braga faced similar periods of growth and decline; demographic and urban pressures, from urban-to-rural migration meant that the city's infrastructures had to be improved in order to satisfy greater demands.

Geography

Physical geography

Snow in Braga. Picture: Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte Bom Jesus (Braga).jpg
Snow in Braga. Picture: Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte

Situated in the heart of Minho, Braga is located in a transitional region between the east and west: between mountains, forests, grand valleys, plains and fields, constructing natural spaces, moulded by human intervention. Geographically, with an area of 184 square kilometres (71 sq mi) it is bordered in the north by the municipalities of Vila Verde and Amares, northeast and east by Póvoa de Lanhoso, south and southeast with Guimarães and Vila Nova de Famalicão and west by the municipality of Barcelos. [6]

The topography in the municipality is characterized by irregular valleys, interspersed by mountainous spaces, fed by rivers running in parallel with the principal rivers. In the north it is limited by the Cávado River, in the south by terrain of the Serra dos Picos to a height of 566 metres (1,857 ft) and towards the east by the Serra dos Carvalhos to a height of 479 metres (1,572 ft), opening to the municipalities of Vila Nova de Famalicão and Barcelos. The territory extends from the northeast to southwest, accompanying the valleys of the two rivers, fed by many of its tributaries, forming small platforms between 20 metres (66 ft) and 570 metres (1,870 ft).

The municipality lies between 20 metres (66 ft) and 572 metres (1,877 ft), with the urbanized centre located at approximately 215 metres (705 ft). In the north, where the municipality is marked by the Cavado, the terrain is semi-planar, the east is mountainous owing to the Serra do Carvalho 479 metres (1,572 ft), Serra dos Picos 566 metres (1,857 ft), Monte do Sameiro 572 metres (1,877 ft) and Monte de Santa Marta 562 metres (1,844 ft). Between the Serra do Carvalho and Serra dos Picos is the River Este, forming the valley of Vale d’Este. Similarly, between the Serra dos Picos and Monte do Sameiro exists the plateau of Sobreposta-Pedralva. To the south and west, the terrain is a mix of mountains, plateaus and medium-size valleys, permitting the passage of the River Este, and giving birth to other confluences including the River Veiga, River Labriosca and various ravines.

Climate

Braga has a Warm-summer Mediterranean climate similar to other cities in the northwest Iberian Peninsula except for having significantly hotter summer temperatures due to being some distance from the ocean: the absolute maximum is as much as 5 °C (9 °F) higher than neighbouring A Coruña or Santiago de Compostela. The highest and lowest recorded temperatures are 42.2 °C (108.0 °F) and −6.3 °C (20.7 °F) respectively. The climate is affected by the Atlantic Ocean which influences westerly winds that are channeled through the region's valleys, transporting large humid air masses. Consequently, the climate tends to be pleasant with clearly defined seasons. The air masses have the effect of maintaining morning relative humidity around 80%: annual mean temperatures hover between 12.5 °C (54.5 °F) and 17.5 °C (63.5 °F). Owing to nocturnal cooling, frost usually forms frequently between three and four months of the year (about 30 days of frost annually), and annually the region receives 1,449 millimetres (57.0 in) of precipitation, with the major intensity occurring between fall/winter and spring.

Climate data for Braga (1981–2010 normals; extremes 1941–2006)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)24.0
(75.2)
23.5
(74.3)
29.5
(85.1)
31.0
(87.8)
35.5
(95.9)
38.5
(101.3)
38.5
(101.3)
42.2
(108.0)
38.5
(101.3)
33.3
(91.9)
28.5
(83.3)
24.1
(75.4)
39.5
(103.1)
Average high °C (°F)13.7
(56.7)
14.8
(58.6)
17.6
(63.7)
18.3
(64.9)
21.1
(70.0)
25.4
(77.7)
27.8
(82.0)
28.0
(82.4)
25.5
(77.9)
20.9
(69.6)
16.8
(62.2)
14.4
(57.9)
20.3
(68.5)
Daily mean °C (°F)9.0
(48.2)
9.9
(49.8)
12.3
(54.1)
13.2
(55.8)
15.8
(60.4)
19.5
(67.1)
21.4
(70.5)
21.4
(70.5)
19.4
(66.9)
15.9
(60.6)
12.3
(54.1)
10.2
(50.4)
15.0
(59.0)
Average low °C (°F)4.3
(39.7)
4.9
(40.8)
7.0
(44.6)
7.9
(46.2)
10.4
(50.7)
13.5
(56.3)
14.9
(58.8)
14.7
(58.5)
13.2
(55.8)
10.8
(51.4)
7.7
(45.9)
6.0
(42.8)
9.6
(49.3)
Record low °C (°F)−6.3
(20.7)
−4.5
(23.9)
−5.0
(23.0)
−1.2
(29.8)
−0.5
(31.1)
3.3
(37.9)
7.5
(45.5)
6.7
(44.1)
3.8
(38.8)
2.5
(36.5)
−1.7
(28.9)
−2.5
(27.5)
−6.3
(20.7)
Average precipitation mm (inches)176.4
(6.94)
114.8
(4.52)
121.6
(4.79)
130.8
(5.15)
112.9
(4.44)
48.6
(1.91)
22.0
(0.87)
34.0
(1.34)
81.7
(3.22)
191.7
(7.55)
193.9
(7.63)
220.2
(8.67)
1,448.6
(57.03)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)14.813.512.213.513.48.25.44.77.412.713.115.5134.4
Source: Instituto de Meteorologia [7]

Human geography

Braga do Monte Picoto.jpg
Panorama of Braga, as seen from the Picoto hill
Braga-vale do Rio Este.jpg
A similar panorama taken from the Este River valley
Distribution of civil parishes in the municipality of Braga Braga freguesias.png
Distribution of civil parishes in the municipality of Braga
Population of the
municipality of Braga
(1849–2004)
YearPop.±%
1849 40,004    
1900 58,339+45.8%
1911 60,836+4.3%
1920 57,019−6.3%
1930 60,761+6.6%
1940 75,846+24.8%
1950 84,142+10.9%
1960 92,938+10.5%
1970 96,220+3.5%
1981 125,472+30.4%
1991 141,256+12.6%
2001 164,192+16.2%
2011 181,474+10.5%

The municipality is densely populated, with approximately 962 inhabitants per square kilometre, equivalent to 181,474 residents (2011); it is one of the more populous territories in Portugal, as well as one of the "younger" markets. [8] The majority of the population concentrates in the urban area of Braga, itself, where densities are more than 10000 per square kilometre.

The Bracarense population consists of approximately 78954 male and 85238 female individuals, with 35% of the population less than 25 years of age, while seniors conform to 11% of the population; the working population of the municipality occupies 54% of this structure. [8] Although largely native Portuguese, other segments of the population include Brazilians, Africans (principally from the former Portuguese colonies), Chinese and eastern European peoples, namely Ukrainians. [8]

The urban structure includes approximately 70,268 residences (2001), even as the typical classic representation of family only includes 51,173 members in the municipality. [8] The "extra" homes are primarily temporary residences, normally for students, migrant workers and professionals working in the city. There is, also, a great number of homes owned by Portuguese residents living overseas (who use the homes periodically while in Portugal) even as constant and development has attracted new growth in the population. [8] Further, the difference in resident to transitory population means that, on average, the population of Braga hovers between 174,000 and 230,000 individuals annually. [8]

Growth in the population, roughly 16.2% between 1991 and 2001, occurred mainly in the older suburban civil parishes, such as Nogueira (124.6%), Frossos (68.4%), Real (59.8%) and Lamaçães (50.9%). [8]

Beach in Cavado River, Braga Adaufe (P1000332).JPG
Beach in Cávado River, Braga

Administratively, the municipality is divided into 37 civil parishes ( freguesias ): [9]

The city of Braga proper includes only the following urban civil parishes:[ citation needed ]

There is no formal city government, only municipal government authority, with local administration handled by the individual juntas de freguesia or civil parish councils.

Politics and government

See also: Braga politics (in Portuguese)

Economy

The major industries in the municipality are construction, metallurgy and mechanics, software development and web design. The computer industry is growing rapidly.

Transport

Although the region hosts its own airfield (Aerodromo de Braga) in Palmeira, the principal airport of note is Sá Carneiro International Airport located 50 kilometres (31 mi) away, in Porto. Access is made by public transit to the city centre (roughly 40 minutes) or Aerobus (50 minutes). Braga is serviced by both regional and high-speed rail connection to major centres in the region.

Architecture

The remains of the historic keep of the Castle of Braga, a defensive structure that circled the old town Torre de Menagem de Braga (2).JPG
The remains of the historic keep of the Castle of Braga, a defensive structure that circled the old town
The Chapel of the Coimbras, one of the first Manueline era chapels in Braga Capela dos Coimbras II.jpg
The Chapel of the Coimbras, one of the first Manueline era chapels in Braga


The Arch of Rua Souto, commonly referred as the Arco da Porta Nova, an 18th-century ceremonial arch Arco da Porta Nova 01.jpg
The Arch of Rua Souto, commonly referred as the Arco da Porta Nova, an 18th-century ceremonial arch

The region of Braga is scattered with Neolithic, Roman, Medieval and Modernist monuments, buildings and structures attracting tourists. Although there are many examples of these structures, only the following have been classified by the Instituto de Gestão do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueológico as National Monuments:

Archaeological

Roman milestone XXIX on Via Romana XVIII - the road linking the Iberian cities of Bracara Augusta and Asturica Augusta Geira Milha XXIX caminho.jpg
Roman milestone XXIX on Via Romana XVIII – the road linking the Iberian cities of Bracara Augusta and Asturica Augusta

Civic

Military

Religious

The sculpted black rock of the Se Cathedral of Braga: seat of the Archbishop of Braga and Primate of Portugal and of the Hispanias. Se Catedral de Braga.jpg
The sculpted black rock of the Sé Cathedral of Braga: seat of the Archbishop of Braga and Primate of Portugal and of the Hispanias.
The simple Romanesque facade of the Church of Sao Paulo Igrega de S Paulo Braga.jpg
The simple Romanesque façade of the Church of São Paulo
The Populo Church, that includes convent, dependencies and cloister PopuloBraga.jpg
The Pópulo Church, that includes convent, dependencies and cloister
The Church of Santa Cruz courtesy the Irmandade de Santa Cruz Igreja de Santa Cruz em Braga.jpg
The Church of Santa Cruz courtesy the Irmandade de Santa Cruz
Abertura Braga Romana.JPG
Romanos.JPG
Braga Romana 2012 01.JPG
Braga Romana Opening.JPG
The city's annual Bracara Augusta Roman historical reenactment festival, which transforms the city's historical center and its citizens to their ancient selves.

Museums

Braga, Portugal Aerial photograph of Braga 2018 (31).jpg
Braga, Portugal

In addition, many of the district's treasures and historical artifacts are housed in several museums that are scattered throughout the city, such as:

Education

Circo Theatre, Avenida da Liberdade, Portugal Avenida da Liberdade (Teatro Circo), Braga.jpg
Circo Theatre, Avenida da Liberdade, Portugal

The city is the headquarters and main campus for the Universidade do Minho (Minho University), a public university founded in 1973. A campus of Portugal's oldest private university of Portugal, the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, was also established in 1967, as well as the Escola Secundária Sá de Miranda (the oldest Secondary school in Braga).

In the late 2000s, the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory also opened their international research centre in the city.

The Braga Pedagogical Farm is a farm dealing with animals and agriculture, welcoming extra-curricular activities from schools and visitors.

Sports

Estadio Municipal de Braga Estadio Municipal de Braga. (6067259738).jpg
Estádio Municipal de Braga

Braga's football team, Sporting Clube de Braga, was founded in 1921 and play in the top division of Portuguese football, the Liga NOS, from Braga Municipal Stadium, carved out of the Monte Castro hill that overlooks the city. Braga has had considerable success in recent years, winning the Taca de Portugal for the second time in 2016 and reaching the Europa League final in 2011 which they lost to fellow Portuguese side FC Porto.

The Rampa da Falperra, a round of the European Hillclimb Championship, is held every year in the outskirts of the city.

The Circuito Vasco Sameiro and adjacent the Kartódromo Internacional de Braga are located around the local airfield. The racing track held European Touring Car Cup events in 2009 and 2010, and the KIB has held rounds of the Karting World Championship.

Notable citizens

International relations

Braga is twinned with: [18]

See also

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Torrão is a civil parish and town, in the municipality of Alcácer do Sal, in the Portuguese district of Setúbal, bordering on the districts of Évora and the Beja. It is crossed by the river Xarrama River. The population in 2011 was 2,295, in an area of 372.39 km².

References

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Bibliography