Braga

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Braga
City
From left to right: Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga Cathedral, Braga Baixa, Republic Square, Municipal Palace

Flag

Coat of arms
Braga is located in Portugal
Braga
Location of the city of Braga
Coordinates (PT): 41°32′39″N 08°25′19″W / 41.54417°N 8.42194°W / 41.54417; -8.42194Coordinates: 41°32′39″N 08°25′19″W / 41.54417°N 8.42194°W / 41.54417; -8.42194
CountryPortugal
RegionNorte
SubregionCávado
DistrictBraga
MunicipalityBraga
Founded20 BCE
Named forAugustus
GovernmentThe administration and legal authority is invested in the Câmara Municipal of the Municipality of Braga
 • TypeCâmara Municipal
 • MayorRicardo Bruno Antunes Machado Rio (PSD)
Area
 • Land183.51 km2 (70.85 sq mi)
Elevation193 m (633 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total181,819
 Refers to the urbanized portions of the parishes of Arcos, Cividade, Dume, Espinho, Ferreiros, Fraião, Frossos, Gondizalves, Gualtar, Lamaçães, Lamas, Lomar, Maximinos, Nogueira, Nogueiró, Real, São João do Souto, São José de São Lázaro, São Pedro de Este, São Vicente, São Vítor, , Tenões
DemonymBracarense
Time zoneWET (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST)WEST (UTC+1)
Postal Zone470x
Area Code and Prefix(+351) 253
Websitewww.cm-braga.pt
 
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Braga
City
From left to right: Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga Cathedral, Braga Baixa, Republic Square, Municipal Palace

Flag

Coat of arms
Braga is located in Portugal
Braga
Location of the city of Braga
Coordinates (PT): 41°32′39″N 08°25′19″W / 41.54417°N 8.42194°W / 41.54417; -8.42194Coordinates: 41°32′39″N 08°25′19″W / 41.54417°N 8.42194°W / 41.54417; -8.42194
CountryPortugal
RegionNorte
SubregionCávado
DistrictBraga
MunicipalityBraga
Founded20 BCE
Named forAugustus
GovernmentThe administration and legal authority is invested in the Câmara Municipal of the Municipality of Braga
 • TypeCâmara Municipal
 • MayorRicardo Bruno Antunes Machado Rio (PSD)
Area
 • Land183.51 km2 (70.85 sq mi)
Elevation193 m (633 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total181,819
 Refers to the urbanized portions of the parishes of Arcos, Cividade, Dume, Espinho, Ferreiros, Fraião, Frossos, Gondizalves, Gualtar, Lamaçães, Lamas, Lomar, Maximinos, Nogueira, Nogueiró, Real, São João do Souto, São José de São Lázaro, São Pedro de Este, São Vicente, São Vítor, , Tenões
DemonymBracarense
Time zoneWET (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST)WEST (UTC+1)
Postal Zone470x
Area Code and Prefix(+351) 253
Websitewww.cm-braga.pt

Braga (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈbɾaɣɐ]), is a city in the municipality of Braga in the northwestern Portuguese district of Braga. It is considered the oldest Christian archdiocese in the country and one of the oldest in the world. Under the Roman Empire, known as Bracara Augusta, the settlement was centre of the province of Gallaecia.

With a total urban population of 93,587 resident inhabitants,[1] in 2011, Braga is the third-largest city in Portugal (after Lisbon and Porto), including the city and suburban parishes; the municipality, which includes 62 parishes, has a population in 2011 of approximately 181,819 inhabitants (the seventh largest municipality in Portugal by population). Its agglomerated urban area extends from the Cavado River to the Este River. Braga is also the seat of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Minho, which includes a population of 826,833 (2007 statistics), considered one of the fastest growing urban areas in the European Union.[citation needed] The city was the European Youth Capital in 2012.[2]

History[edit]

For the Ecclesiastical history see Archbishopric of Braga

Antiquity[edit]

The region of Braga has been inhabited since the Neolithic, but since the Iron Age the Celtic Bracari occupied the territory, building their characteristic fortified villages (or castrum). It was the center of the Callaici Bracarii, or Bracarenses, one group of the Celtic tribe referred to by the Romans as the Gallaeci, that 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 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
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 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]

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).

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[3]

Human geography[edit]

Panorama of Braga, as seen from the Picoto hill
A similar panorama taken from the Este River valley

Owing to its urbanized nature, it is assumed that Braga includes all the civil parishes in Braga Municipality. In reality, the city of Braga includes only the following urban civil parishes:

Similarly, while governmental authority is vested in the Câmara Municipal of Braga, this organ is responsible for the administration the municipality in its entirety, and not just the city of Braga. 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]

Braga is serviced by both regional and high-speed rail connection to major centres in the region. This regional district is also accessible from international and domestic air services, that include the regional aerodrome in Palmeira (Braga Aerodrome) and the Sá Carneiro International Airport, located 20 minutes away in the city of Porto.

Architecture[edit]

The city of Braga is rich in architectural buildings dating back to the late Neolithic and Roman eras, when it became a center for settlement. Apart from many of the sites and monuments located throughout the municipality of Braga, the historical city has been a storehouse of religious, military and civic architecture that includes many of the following sites:

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]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Braga is twinned with:

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Census 2011 (INE)
  2. ^ Braga 2012 Capital Europeia da Juventude (in Portuguese), Braga, Portugal, 2012, retrieved 19 April 2012 
  3. ^ "Normals Climatológicas". Instituto de Meteorologia, IP Portugal. Retrieved 2011-10-26. 
  4. ^ "National Commission for Decentralised cooperation". Délégation pour l’Action Extérieure des Collectivités Territoriales (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) (in French). Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  5. ^ "Puteaux - Qu'est-ce que le jumelage?". Mairie de Puteaux [Puteaux Official Website] (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 

External links[edit]