Bragança

Bragança is a Portuguese city located further north of Portugal, capital of the District of Bragança, in the region of Trás-os-Montes.
Those who leave here, sooner or later, will want to return, a proverb attributed to the people of Bragança, which shows the strong connection to this land surrounded by mountains that in spring and summer are of an intense green and covered by a blanket of snow in the Autumn and winter. Its inhabitants always have an open door for visitors and a smile on their face. Brigantines or people born in Bragança are famous for the art of hospitality and friendliness. This Trás-os-Montes city of very ancient origins sees its current name being fixed in the 12th century. Bragança has as its greatest symbol its castle, where it is possible to take a walk from the historic center. The center of

The three main locations in Bragança:

  • Modern and cosmopolitan center: where we find the most modern infrastructures in the city, namely the Bragança Shopping Center, the Municipal Theater of Bragança and the Bragança Train Station (currently closed, however it deserves a visit for maintaining the architecture typical of Portuguese stations).
  • Historic Center: with typical and medieval houses, and Praça da Sé, where we find important buildings such as the Sé Catedral, houses of the noble family Bragança that were at the origin of the last Portuguese dynasty of kings, Rua Direita with shops selling typical products and old façades, the solar dos Teixeiras, the terrace in front of the Church of Santa Maria where we can rest and enjoy the sunset over the city of Bragança.
  • Citadel: it is the most visited area of ​​the city, with valuable heritage, such as the castle, the Domus Municipalis, the Iberian Museum of Costume and Masks, and the Military Museum, one of the most visited museums in Portugal, open to the public since 1936. This citadel is completely walled and includes medieval houses still inhabited.

Attractions to visit in Bragança

Castelo de bragança

Castelo de bragança: it is a 13th century Gothic style castle, very important and well preserved in Portugal, with a fantastic view over the Montesinho and Sanabria mountains, the Rebordões mountain range and the Nogueira mountain range;

The Military Museum of Bragança

The Military Museum of Bragança: it operates inside the castle in one of the two keep towers, where we can visit the evolution of light weapons between the 12th and 20th centuries. The Museum was founded in 1932, being one of the most visited attractions in the city;

Domus Municipalis

Domus Municipalis: it is a building in the shape of an irregular pentagon, classified as a National Monument since 1910, of civil architecture in Romanesque style from the 12th century, it is the only example in the Iberian Peninsula. The name “Domus Municipalis” is due to having been used as City Hall by the Municipal Administration of Bragança;

Abade de Baçal Museum

Abade de Baçal Museum: it is a museum created in 1915, with a collection of Archeology, Epigraphy, Sacred Art, Painting, Jewelery, Numismatics, Furniture and Ethnography, with emphasis on the paintings by José Malhoa, Abel Salazar and a set of about 70 drawings by Almada Negreiros

Sé Velha de Bragança

Sé Velha de Bragança: it is a classified monument of public interest, built in the 16th century. It was built with the aim of being a convent, having been adapted as the former headquarters of the Diocese of Bragança-Miranda;

Church of Santa Maria

Church of Santa Maria: it was built in Romanesque style in the 14th century, with modifications to the Baroque style, over two centuries

Graça Morais Contemporary Art Center

Graça Morais Contemporary Art Center: it is an art center installed in the 17th century Solar dos Vargas building, recovered with a project by architect Eduardo Souto Moura, where exhibitions by Graça Morais and other artists work;

Centro Ciência Viva de Bragança

Centro Ciência Viva de Bragança: it is the Bragança hub that is part of the network of Ciência Viva Centers, the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture with the objective of promoting experimental science teaching to the general public;

Igreja da Misericórdia de Bragança

Igreja da Misericórdia de Bragança: it is a church dating from 1518, with a tiled façade in shades of blue dating from the 19th century;

Iberian Mask and Costume Museum

Iberian Mask and Costume Museum: is a museum with an exhibition of masks, costumes, props and objects used in the Winter Festivals in Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, and in Las Mascaradas de Invierno, in the region de Zamora, in partnership between the Municipality of Bragança and the Diputación de Zamora;

Other attractions to explore in Bragança

  • Castro de Avelãs Monastery: it is a Baroque Mudejar Romanesque church classified as a national monument since 1910, which integrates part of the old blessed monastery of São Salvador built in the 12th or 13th century;
  • Georges Dussaud Photography Center: a photographic exhibition consisting of 148 black and white photographs by Georges Dussaud with portraits related to the life history of the people of Trás-os-Montes;
  • Igreja de São Vicente: it is a 13th century church where we find a tile panel with the representation of the opposition by General Sepúlveda in 1808 against the French invasion led by Junot before the people of Bragança; and location of the secret wedding in 1352 of King D. Pedro with the court lady Inês de Castro;
  • Castelo de Rebordãos: it is a castle from 1208, currently in poor condition, built on top of a rock, with a panoramic view from where we can see the castle of Bragança, castle of Vimioso, castle of Outeiro de Miranda , Penas Róias castle, Miranda do Douro castle, and Zamora already in Spain;
  • Basilica of Santo Cristo de Outeiro: it is a sanctuary church in the village of Outeiro, classified as a national monument since 1927, and title of minor basilica, attributed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments
  • “Os Nosso Livros” Foundation Library: it is a library instituted by will by Doctor Artur Águedo de Oliveira, installed in an 18th century building;
  • Casa do Arco: it is an arch built in 1694 that connects two noble houses;

The parks of Bragança

Bragança has nature in its pure state, with several walking routes, it is the Wonderful Kingdom of Portuguese writer Miguel Torga and a UNESCO Biosphere reserve. This Portuguese region represents the perfect communion with nature, visible in three places in its district:

Douro International Park

  • Parque do Douro Internacional: park is very pleasant to visit in spring and autumn, due to the milder temperatures and the arrival of migratory birds in these times, namely the Egyptian vulture and the black stork. In February, the fields turn white with almond blossom that provide a fantastic landscape in the park in the municipalities of Mogadouro and Freixo de Espada à Cinta. Worthy of visiting places like Carrascalinho, Penedo Durão, Miradouro da Sapinha, Miradouro da Fraga do Puio and Chapel of São João das Arribas;

Montesinho Natural Park

  • Montesinho Natural Park: the Montesinho Natural Park has 80% of the mammals of Portugal, it is a paradise for bird watchers, more than 160 different species of birds. The park has unique and varied landscapes with wild rivers of pure and clear water, where we can visit the largest spot of the black oak tree species in Europe and one of the routes of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route ;

Protected Zone of Albufeira do Azibo

  • Albufeira do Azibo Protected Area: a reservoir formed by three water lines, the Azibo river with 13 km, the Azibeiro river with 7.3 km and the Ribeira do Reguengo with 7.8 km. This protected area includes Mediterranean and Atlantic flora, a dam with stunning panoramic views, and several species of birds. The protected area of ​​the Azibo reservoir has two river beaches: the river beach of Fraga da Pegada and the river beach of Ribeira.

Bragança Trade Shows

Bragança fairs are important tourist attractions, with a prominent place in the city’s tradition. It includes fairs such as:

  • Weekly Market of the Municipal Market of Bragança every Friday of every month
  • Feira das Cantarinhas on May 3 of each year
  • Feast of Nossa Senhora das Graças on August 22
  • Boys’ Party on December 25

Gastronomy of Bragança

Bragança has a simple gastronomy with certified and quality meats, with intense and genuine flavors, but, at the same time, capable of making you feel like family. This city from Trás-os-Montes is the jewel of the smokehouse, a hallmark of the region. The typical dishes of this region have specialties that are a real festival for the palate:

  • Roasted Alheira de Mirandela: one of the seven wonders of national gastronomy
  • Butelo with chasuble
  • Roast kid
  • Meat roasted on the grill
  • Barroseira Stew
  • Chestnuts
  • Rooster in the pot
  • Put the mirandese
  • Roasted veal

Chestnut route

The chestnut is a product of excellence in Bragança gastronomy, with the chestnut harvest being a tradition. Currently eight routes are defined that allow visitors to discover this valuable gastronomic product, namely:
1. Millenary Route,
2. Fagaceae pathway,
3. Landscape Route,
4. Jewish route,
5. The route of Dourado da Padrela,
6. Route of the window to the Douro,
7. Enchanted Valley Route,
8. Martainha Chestnut Trail

Wines from Bragança

Bragança’s gastronomy would not be complete without mentioning wines. In this region with a very austere continental climate with rigorous summers and winters, the wines produced have these same characteristics. Among the wines produced in Trás-os-Montes there are:

  • White Wines: Códega do Larinho, Fernão Pires, Gouveio, Malvasia Fina, Rabigato, Síria and Viosinho.
  • Red Wines: Bastardo, Marufo, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira.

Accesses to Bragança

Access to Bragança has greatly improved with the construction of the A4 motorway, connecting Bragança and Lisbon, Porto and Vila Real, with the existence of an aerodrome that allows daily flights to Porto and Lisbon.

Growth in Bragança

Growth in Bragança saw its quality of life rise in the last thirty years, being considered the sixth city with the best quality of life in Portugal in a study by the Portuguese consumer protection association DECO in 2012. In this study, Bragança obtained the highest rating in the items housing, mobility, noise, crime, catering, supermarkets and culture, leisure and sport. It has been combating population loss by transforming its economy and adopting innovative projects. Bragança has four essential poles in the development of companies and entrepreneurship:

  • Brigantia Ecopark
  • Automotive Industry Cluster
  • Cantarias Industrial Zone
  • Industrial Zone of Mós

Bragança exports more than it imports

Bragança is one of the few municipalities in Portugal that exports more than it imports. Sales abroad are € 217 million (8.46% of national exports). Machines, devices and electronic material are the largest export share in this region. The Faurecia industrial group represents 89% of exports, a French multinational that produces exhaust for cars. The main products produced in this municipality are: chestnuts, in Sordes, where the leading European company for processing chestnuts, honey, olive oil and clay meat is located.

Innovative projects

The municipality of Bragança has invested heavily in innovative projects that encourage a sustainable way of life, namely:

  • The village of Montesinho was the first in the North of Portugal with public lighting 100% LED (Light Emitting Diode), a more economical and environmentally friendly form of lighting than traditional lamps.
  • Electric public buses
  • Electric bikes
  • Smart buildings
  • European Park of Mayors with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 21% by 2021
  • Urban cycle network
  • Intelligent vehicle parking payment system

Places to visit near Bragança

  • Castro de Avelãs Village
  • Village of Gondesende
  • Village of Montesinho
  • Village of Rio de Onor
  • Miranda do Douro Cathedral
  • Algoso Castle
  • Ansiães Castle in Carrazeda de Ansiães
  • Casa do Careto in Macedo de Cavaleiros
  • Torre de Moncorvo Mother Church
  • Miranda do Douro
  • Viewpoint of Colado in Freixo de Espada à Cinta
  • Carrascalinho Viewpoint in Freixo de Espada à Cinta
  • Alminhas Viewpoint in Freixo de Espada à Cinta
  • Mogadouro
  • Land Museum of Miranda
  • Moncorvo Tower

Quick facts from Bragança

  • Municipality population: around 35 thousand inhabitants
  • Population of the city: about 23 thousand inhabitants
  • Area: 1173, 57 Km2
  • Number of parishes: 49
  • Region: North
  • Sub-Region: Alto Trás-os-Montes
  • District: Bragança
  • Old Province: Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro
  • Polytechnic Institute: 1
  • Bragança’s economic wealth: € 4.8 billion, 2.7% of national GDP
  • Number of companies: 3434 with a turnover of around € 724 million
  • Green spaces: 19.18 m2
  • Shopping center: 1
  • Large surfaces: 4
  • Hotel capacity: 1501 beds
  • Campsites: 3
  • Airfield: 1
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