Braga - explore the mix of rich history and Portugal's Silicon Valley
Braga, a vibrant city and one of the oldest in the country, bustles with the energy of its university students. Established over 2,000 years ago as "Bracara Augusta" by Augustus, it served as the administrative center of the Roman Empire and later became the capital of the Roman province of Gallaecia (present-day Galicia) under Emperor Caracalla. The Braga Diocese, the oldest in Portugal, once rivaled Santiago de Compostela in influence during the Middle Ages, especially with the passage of one of the Camiños de Santiago through the city.
The city's Cathedral, dating back to the 12th century, is the oldest in Portugal and holds the tombs of Portugal's first King, D. Henrique and D. Teresa. Today, Braga remains a significant religious center, hosting the Holy Week Celebrations and the São João Festival as key events in its liturgical and tourist calendar.
While exploring the historic center, don't miss landmarks such as the Tesouro-Museu da Sé, Biscainhos Museum, and D. Diogo de Sousa Archaeological Museum, each offering insights into Braga's rich history. A leisurely stroll through the city allows you to appreciate its architectural gems like the Palácio do Raio, Theatro Circo, and the Arco da Porta Nova, with a stop at the iconic Brasileira for a coffee overlooking Avenida Central.
Despite its ancient roots, Braga embraces modernity, evident in contemporary landmarks like the Braga Municipal Stadium, designed by renowned architect Souto Moura. The city's youthfulness, fueled by the university and contemporary architecture, gives it an unexpected modern flair.
No visit to Braga is complete without experiencing the Bom Jesus Sanctuary, an iconic site with its monumental staircase offering panoramic views. Other noteworthy churches include the Nossa Senhora do Sameiro Sanctuary and Santa Maria da Falperra Church. Venture outside the city to explore São Martinho de Tibães Monastery and S. Frutuoso de Montélios Chapel for their beauty and historical significance. Nature enthusiasts can head to the Peneda-Gerês National Park for water sports, Roman milestones along the Geira Romana path, and diverse botanical species.
Last but not least Braga is often referred to as Portugals Silicon Valley, a place for start ups and innovative energy that is the perfect venue for the LCC Annual Summit 2024!