Braga

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Braga
Municipality (Concelho)
Braga Montage.png
From left to right: Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga Cathedral, Braga Baixa, Republic Square, Municipal Palace
Flag
Coat of arms
Official name: Concelho de Braga
Named for: Bracara Augusta
Country Portugal
RegionNorte
SubregionCávado
DistrictBraga
Civil Parishes(see text)
CenterSão José de São Lázaro
 - elevation200 m (656 ft)
 - coordinates41°32′26″N 8°24′39″W / 41.54056°N 8.41083°W / 41.54056; -8.41083
Highest pointSanta Marta das Cortiças
 - elevation558 m (1,831 ft)
 - coordinates41°30′52″N 8°23′42″W / 41.51444°N 8.39500°W / 41.51444; -8.39500
Area183.40 km2 (71 sq mi)
Population181,494 (2011)
Density990 / km2 (2,564 / sq mi)
SettlementMegalithic
 - Municipality1040
LAUCâmara Municipal
 - locationPraça Municipal
 - coordinates41°33′4″N 8°25′42″W / 41.55111°N 8.42833°W / 41.55111; -8.42833
PresidentFrancisco Soares Mesquita Machado
Municipal ChairAntónio Fernandes da Silva Braga
TimezoneWET (UTC0)
 - summer (DST)WEST (UTC+1)
Postal Zone470x
Area Code & Prefix(+351) 253 XX XX XX
DemonymBracarense
Location of the municipality of Braga in continental Portugal
Wikimedia Commons: Braga
Website: www.cm-braga.pt
Geographic detail from CAOP (2010)[1] produced by Instituto Geográfico Português (IGP)
 
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For other uses, see Braga (disambiguation).
Coordinates: 41°32′26″N 8°24′39″W / 41.54056°N 8.41083°W / 41.54056; -8.41083
Braga
Municipality (Concelho)
Braga Montage.png
From left to right: Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga Cathedral, Braga Baixa, Republic Square, Municipal Palace
Flag
Coat of arms
Official name: Concelho de Braga
Named for: Bracara Augusta
Country Portugal
RegionNorte
SubregionCávado
DistrictBraga
Civil Parishes(see text)
CenterSão José de São Lázaro
 - elevation200 m (656 ft)
 - coordinates41°32′26″N 8°24′39″W / 41.54056°N 8.41083°W / 41.54056; -8.41083
Highest pointSanta Marta das Cortiças
 - elevation558 m (1,831 ft)
 - coordinates41°30′52″N 8°23′42″W / 41.51444°N 8.39500°W / 41.51444; -8.39500
Area183.40 km2 (71 sq mi)
Population181,494 (2011)
Density990 / km2 (2,564 / sq mi)
SettlementMegalithic
 - Municipality1040
LAUCâmara Municipal
 - locationPraça Municipal
 - coordinates41°33′4″N 8°25′42″W / 41.55111°N 8.42833°W / 41.55111; -8.42833
PresidentFrancisco Soares Mesquita Machado
Municipal ChairAntónio Fernandes da Silva Braga
TimezoneWET (UTC0)
 - summer (DST)WEST (UTC+1)
Postal Zone470x
Area Code & Prefix(+351) 253 XX XX XX
DemonymBracarense
Location of the municipality of Braga in continental Portugal
Wikimedia Commons: Braga
Website: www.cm-braga.pt
Geographic detail from CAOP (2010)[1] produced by Instituto Geográfico Português (IGP)

Braga (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈbɾaɣɐ] ( )) is a city and a municipality in the northwestern Portuguese district of Braga. The municipality, which includes 37 civil parishes had a resident population of 181,494 inhabitants (in 2011),[2] representing the seventh largest municipality in Portugal (by population). Its area is 183.40 km².[3] Its agglomerated urban area extends from the Cavado River to the Este River. The city was the European Youth Capital in 2012.[4] It is host to the archdiocese, the oldest in Portugal. Under the Roman Empire, known as Bracara Augusta, the settlement was centre of the province of Gallaecia.

History[edit]

For more details on the Ecclesiastical history of Braga, see Archbishopric of Braga.
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
The 18th century municipal hall that houses the local government authority
The skyline of Braga between 1849-1873

Antiquity[edit]

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 tribe who occupied what is now northern Portugal, Galicia and Asturias in the north west of Iberia.

The Romans began their conquest of the region around 136 BC, and finished it 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 re-dedicated 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, Emperor Diocletianus promoted the city to the status of capital of the administrative area Conventus bracarensis, the south western area of the newly founded Roman province of Gallaecia.

Middle Ages[edit]

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, which they maintained as Gallaecia, and made Bracara their capital. About 584, the Visigothic conquerors of Hispania took control of Gallaecia. They renounced the Aryan and Priscillianist hearesies during two synods held here in the 6th century. 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.

A 17th-century engraving of Braga, showing the walls of the city, which were slowly demolished to make way for new constructions
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, while in the 6th century Bishop Martin of Braga converted the Suebi from Arianism to Catholicism. At the time, Martin also founded an important monastery in Dumio (Dume), and it was in Braga that Archbishopric of Braga held their councils.

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

Between 1093 to 1147, Braga became the residencial seat of the Portuguese court. In the early 12th century, Count Henry of Portugal and bishop Gerald of 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.

Kingdom[edit]

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, seats of 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.

With the invasion of French troops, during the Peninsular Wars the city was reglected, 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[edit]

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[edit]

Physical geography[edit]

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.[5]

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[edit]

Braga has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb) 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 6 °C (11 °F) higher than for A Coruna or Santiago de Compostela. The highest recorded temperature is 41.3 °C (106.3 °F) while the lowest recorded is −6.3 °C (20.7 °F). 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 affect of maintaining the 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 1,659 millimetres (65.3 in) of precipitation, with the major intensity occurring between fall/winter and spring.

Climate data for Braga (1971–2000)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)22.4
(72.3)
25.8
(78.4)
26.3
(79.3)
30.2
(86.4)
34.7
(94.5)
36.0
(96.8)
38.9
(102)
39.4
(102.9)
37.8
(100)
32.5
(90.5)
27.5
(81.5)
23.5
(74.3)
39.4
(102.9)
Average high °C (°F)13.4
(56.1)
14.5
(58.1)
16.9
(62.4)
17.9
(64.2)
20.4
(68.7)
24.6
(76.3)
27.5
(81.5)
27.5
(81.5)
25.4
(77.7)
20.7
(69.3)
16.6
(61.9)
14.3
(57.7)
20.0
(68)
Daily mean °C (°F)8.7
(47.7)
9.8
(49.6)
11.5
(52.7)
12.6
(54.7)
15.0
(59)
18.6
(65.5)
20.9
(69.6)
20.6
(69.1)
19.0
(66.2)
15.3
(59.5)
11.8
(53.2)
10.0
(50)
14.5
(58.1)
Average low °C (°F)4.1
(39.4)
5.1
(41.2)
6.1
(43)
7.3
(45.1)
9.7
(49.5)
12.5
(54.5)
14.3
(57.7)
13.7
(56.7)
12.5
(54.5)
9.9
(49.8)
7.0
(44.6)
5.7
(42.3)
9.0
(48.2)
Record low °C (°F)−3.4
(25.9)
−4.1
(24.6)
−2.3
(27.9)
−1.3
(29.7)
1.1
(34)
3.7
(38.7)
5.9
(42.6)
4.0
(39.2)
2.6
(36.7)
−1.0
(30.2)
−3.8
(25.2)
−4.1
(24.6)
−4.1
(24.6)
Precipitation mm (inches)192.7
(7.587)
161.0
(6.339)
102.3
(4.028)
122.5
(4.823)
118.5
(4.665)
62.2
(2.449)
24.1
(0.949)
29.8
(1.173)
79.0
(3.11)
166.8
(6.567)
175.4
(6.906)
231.4
(9.11)
1,465.7
(57.706)
Source: Instituto de Meteorologia, IP Portugal[6]

Human geography[edit]

Panorama of Braga, as seen from the Picoto hill
A similar panorama taken from the Este River valley
Distribution of civil parishes in the municipality of Braga
Population of the
municipality of Braga
(1849 - 2004)
YearPop.  ±%  
184940,004—    
190058,339+45.8%
191160,836+4.3%
192057,019−6.3%
193060,761+6.6%
194075,846+24.8%
195084,142+10.9%
196092,938+10.5%
197096,220+3.5%
1981125,472+30.4%
1991141,256+12.6%
2001164,192+16.2%
2011181,474+10.5%

The municipality is densely populated, with approximately 962 inhabitants per square kilometre, equivalente to 181,474 residents (2011); it is one of the more populous territories in Portugal, as well as one of the "younger" markets.[7] 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.[7] Although largely native Portuguese, other segments of the population include enclaves of Brazilian, African (principally from the former Portuguese colonies), Chinese and eastern European peoples.[7]

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.[7] The "extra" homes are primarily temporary residences, normally for students, migrant workers and professionals working in the urban congrum. 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.[7] Further, the difference in resident to tranistory population means that, on average, the population of Braga hovers between 174,000 and 230,000 individuals annually.[7]

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%).[7]

Administratively, the municipality is divided into 37 civil parishes (freguesias):[8]

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.

Economy[edit]

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

Transportation[edit]

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 20 minutes) or Aerobus (30 minutes). Braga is serviced by both regional and high-speed rail connection to major centres in the region.

Architecture[edit]

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
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, Medieval and Modernist monuments, buildings and structures that permeates its historical character, attracting tourism and promoting the areas cultural heritage. 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[edit]

Civic[edit]

Military[edit]


Religious[edit]

The sculpted black rock of the Sé Cathedral of Braga: seat of the bishops of Braga
The simple Romanesque façade of the Church of São Paulo
The Pópulo Church, that includes convent, dependencies and cloister
The Church of Santa Cruz courtesy the Irmandade de Santa Cruz
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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Braga's football team, Sporting Clube de Braga, was founded in 1921 and play in the top division of Portuguese football, the Liga Sagres, from Braga Municipal Stadium, carved out of the Monte Castro hill that overlooks the city.

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[edit]

International relations[edit]

Braga is twinned with:

References[edit]

  1. ^ IGP, ed. (2010), Carta Administrativa Oficial de Portugal (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: Instituto Geográfico Português, retrieved 1 January 2012 
  2. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estatística
  3. ^ Eurostat
  4. ^ Braga 2012 Capital Europeia da Juventude (in Portuguese), Braga, Portugal, 2012, retrieved 19 April 2012 
  5. ^ Pereira, P. Gomes (2009), "Caracterização do Concelho de Braga", Diagnóstico do Concelho de Braga (in Portuguese), Braga, Portugal: Unidade de Saúde Pública de Braga, retrieved 21 March 2012 
  6. ^ "Normals Climatológicas". Instituto de Meteorologia, IP Portugal. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Census de 1991, 2001 e Território em números de 2004 (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: INE - Instituto Nacional de Estatistica, 2004, retrieved 24 March 2012 
  8. ^ Diário da República. "Law nr. 11-A/2013, pages 552 26-28" (pdf) (in Portuguese). Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Sereno, Isabel; Dordio, Paulo (1994). SIPA, ed. "21 Marcos Miliários (série Capela) Braga incerta via (v.PT01130700002)" (in Portuguese). Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA–Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Sereno, Isabel; Dordio, Paulo (1994), SIPA, ed., Termas romanas de Maximinos/Alto da Cividade/Colina dos Maximinos (v.PT010303070040) (in Portuguese), Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA – Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico, retrieved 26 April 2012 
  11. ^ Sereno, Isabel; Dordio, Paulo; Gonçalves, Joaquim (2007). SIPA, ed. "Castelo de Braga, designadamente a Torre de Menagem (restos)" (in Portuguese). Lisbon: SIPA–Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  12. ^ Sereno, Isabel; Santos, João (1994). SIPA, ed. "Capela de Nossa Senhora da Conceição/Capela dos Coimbras/Capela do Senhor Morto" (in Portuguese). Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA –Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  13. ^ Sereno, Isabel; Dordio, Paulo; Gonçalves, Joaquim (2004). SIPA, ed. "Capela de São Frutuoso de Montélios/Capela de São Salvador de Montélios" (in Portuguese). Lisbon, Portugal: SIPA – Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Puteaux - Qu'est-ce que le jumelage?". Mairie de Puteaux [Puteaux Official Website] (in French). Archived from the original on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 

External links[edit]