Travelling the network



Braga is a city located in the far north-west of Portugal. It was the capital of the historic province of Minho and is home to one of the oldest archdioceses on the Iberian peninsula. It is the third largest city in Portugal and currently has a population of around 200,000 and occupies an area of 183 km².

Founded by the Romans more than two thousand years ago, it was the capital of the Roman province of Gallaecia (Galicia) and later the Kingdom of the Suevi. The Roman occupation left countless remains that have been unearthed and preserved in several of the city’s museums.

The Dom Diogo de Sousa Museum of Archaeology, thermal baths and Roman theatre all offer remarkable examples.

Occupied by the Suevi and Visigoths, Braga was stripped of its political and social relevance when the Almoravids conquered the Iberian peninsula early in the eighth century. Restored as a see in 1070, Braga played a fundamental role in Portugal being a Kingdom (1128), as it was left to the archbishops as an ecclesiastical fief. This dominion would influence the city’s appearance, as it became populated by churches, calvaries and convents, particularly during the Baroque era.


Today, Braga is a historic yet modern city due to recent urban development and boasts exemplary heritage from different eras. The Cathedral of Braga is the city’s most emblematic monument, combining artistic styles and unique treasures.

The city’s numerous churches and chapels, such as Santa Cruz, Congregados, Misericordia, São Vítor and Coimbras chapel, as well as the countless fountains dotted around the city, are all worth visiting. The Arch of the New Gate, Raio Palace, Circo Theatre and the Museum of Biscaínhos should not be missed either.

However, Braga’s most visited monument is the sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte. Recently recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, this sanctuary commemorates the Passion of Christ, was mainly designed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with stairs, chapels and fountains and intimately connects with the nature that surrounds it.

Nearby, Sameiro sanctuary is one of the main Marian pilgrim sites in Portugal. More contemporary architecture includes Braga’s Municipal Stadium, which was designed in 2003.


The city of Braga is the perfect backdrop to experience the Passion of Christ in Portugal, as it offers one of the most multifaceted expressions of Holy Week. These celebrations were deep-rooted in the community when Christianity was implanted in the fourth century and the city developed through the role of its archbishops, religious orders and secular corporations.

Braga’s Holy Week Commission was founded in 1933, which influenced significant changes to the dynamics involved. Braga’s Holy Week features ancient processions like Dos Passos (1597) and Ecce Homo (1513), completed in more recent times with the addition of Our Lord’s Burial (1933) and the revival of La Burrinha (little donkey) procession (1998), all of which contribute to the grandeur of this time of year.

The streets are decked in purple and the smell of incense is omnipresent. The most representative liturgical celebrations take place in the Cathedral.

The swords are removed from the Our Lady of Dolours sculpture in Congregados Basilica. Seven churches venerate the Lord’s tomb. And then joy breaks on Easter Sunday and the bells ring loud throughout the city. Rockets explode in the sky. All homes open their doors displaying springtime abundance. The Lord has risen!