|Parishes||37, see text|
|• President||Ricardo Rio (PSD)|
|• Total||183.40 km2 (70.81 sq mi)|
|Elevation||200 m (700 ft)|
|Highest elevation||558 m (1,831 ft)|
|• Density||1,000/km2 (2,700/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC±00:00 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+01:00 (WEST)|
Braga ( // BRAH-gə, Portuguese: [ˈbɾaɣɐ] (
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.
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 Celtictribe who occupied what is now northern Portugal, Galicia and Asturias in the northwest of Iberia.
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.
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,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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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)|
|Record high °C (°F)||24.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||13.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||9.0|
|Average low °C (°F)||4.3|
|Record low °C (°F)||−6.3|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||176.4|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||14.8||13.5||12.2||13.5||13.4||8.2||5.4||4.7||7.4||12.7||13.1||15.5||134.4|
|Source: Instituto de Meteorologia|
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.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.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.
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.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. 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.
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%).
Administratively, the municipality is divided into 37 civil parishes ( freguesias ):
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.
The major industries in the municipality are construction, metallurgy and mechanics, software development and web design. The computer industry is growing rapidly.
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.
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:
In addition, many of the district's treasures and historical artifacts are housed in several museums that are scattered throughout the city, such as:
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.
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.
Braga is twinned with:
Chaves is a city and a municipality in the north of Portugal. It is 10 km south of the Spanish border and 22 km south of Verín (Spain). The population in 2011 was 41,243, in an area of 591.23 km2. The municipality is the second most populous of the district of Vila Real. With origins in the Roman civitas Aquæ Flaviæ, Chaves has developed into a regional center. The urban area has 17,535 residents (2001).
Alfaião is a Portuguese civil parish in the municipality of Bragança. The population in 2011 was 173, in an area of 17.58 km².
Belver is a Portuguese civil parish in the municipality of Gavião, district of Portalegre. The population in 2011 was 684, in an area of 69.84 km2. It is situated along the northern bank of the Tagus River.
Vila do Porto is the single municipality, the name of the main town and one of the civil parishes on the island of Santa Maria, in the Portuguese archipelago of Azores. Its nearest neighbor, administratively, is the municipality of Povoação on the southern coast of São Miguel, and it is physically southwest of the islets of the Formigas. The population in 2011 was 5,552, in an area of 96.89 km².
Angústias is one of the three freguesia that comprise the urban area of the city of Horta, on the island of Faial in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. This is an economically active, densely populated area. The population in 2011 was 2,418, in an area of 3.79 km2. Due to its commercial nature, the parish is one of the island's primary destinations for tourism, due to the concentration of historical sights and shopping. It contains the localities Caminho do Meio, Courelas, Pasteleiro, Port Pim, Termo da Igreja and Vigia.
Arrifes is a civil parish in the municipality of Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel in the Azores. The population in 2011 was 7,086, in an area of 25.37 km².
Água de Pau is a civil parish in the municipality of Lagoa in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The population in 2011 was 3,058, in an area of 17.46 km². It contains the localities Água de Pau, Caloura, Cerco, Cinzeiro, Galera and Jubileu.
Povoação is a municipality located in the southeastern corner of the island of São Miguel in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. The population in 2011 was 6,327, in an area of 106.41 km².
Alandroal is a municipality in the Portuguese district of Évora located on the eastern frontier with Spain along the right margin of the Guadiana River in the Central Alentejo region. It is located 341 metres (1,119 ft) above sea level, northeast of Évora and southeast of Estremoz. The population in 2011 was 5,843, in an area of 542.68 km².
Cartaxo is a municipality in the district of Santarém in continental Portugal. The population in 2011 was 24,462, in an area of 158.17 km². The urbanized centre of Cartaxo had a population of 9,507 in 2001.
Arcas is a Portuguese civil parish in the municipality of Macedo de Cavaleiros in the northeast corner of Portugal. The population in 2011 was 262, in an area of 23.02 km2.
Fafe is a municipality in the northern Portuguese district of Braga. The population in 2011 was 50,633, in an area of approximately (219.08 square kilometres. The city itself had a population of 14,144 in 2001. The present mayor is Raul Cunha, elected by the Socialist Party. The municipal holiday is May 16.
Nelas is a municipality located in the Centro Region of continental Portugal. The population in 2011 was 14,037, in an area of 125.71 km².
Lagoa is a town in the former-district of Faro, in the Portuguese region of the Algarve. The population in 2011 was 22,975, in an area of 88.25 km². Its urban population is 6,100 inhabitants.
The Chapel of the Coimbras is a Manueline chapel located in the civil parish of São João do Souto, in the municipality of Braga. It has been classified as a National Monument since 1910.
Braga is a civil parish in the municipality of Braga, Portugal. It was formed in 2013 by the merger of the former parishes Maximinos, Sé and Cividade. The population in 2011 was 14,572, in an area of 2.57 km².
Olhão is a civil parish in the municipality of Olhão, in the Portuguese Algarve. The population in 2011 was 14,914, in an area of 12.25 km². Olhão is the largest parish by population density in the municipality.
Mexilhoeira Grande is a civil parish in the municipality (concelho) of Portimão in the southern Portuguese region of the Algarve. The population in 2011 was 4,029, in an area of 91.15 km².
Nossa Senhora do Bispo is a former civil parish in the municipality of Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal. In 2013, the parish merged into the new parish Nossa Senhora da Vila, Nossa Senhora do Bispo e Silveiras. It has an area of 121.83 km², and a population of approximately 5411 inhabitants in 2001. It contains the localities Fazendas do Cortiço, Ferro da Agulha and São Geraldo.
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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Braga .|