Situated in the middle of the Minho province, you will find the city of Braga, nestled on some of the most fertile lands in the whole of Portugal. This city is considered to be the religious center of the country. There are a number of parks to spend your days in and thanks to the local university, there are countless bars and clubs in town to spend your evenings in.

There are numerous landmarks situated throughout the city that any visitor must check out before leaving. There is an amazing 17th century cathedral, the 18th century Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary and even the enormous Virgin Mary statue which is located atop of Mount Sameiro and looks out over the city of Braga. Construction on the Sé Cathedral was started back in 1070, but it would not be completed until the 17th century.

Just outside of the city at Citânia de Briteiros, you will find some amazing archaeological sites which have been dated back to the Iron Age. This site is perhaps one of the best preserved digs in the province. Inside you will find the ruins of an ancient Celto-Iberian settlement that can be dated all the way back to 300 B.C. More than 150 huts have been unearthed within the settlement to date. There were roads, cattle sheds and even an aqueduct in this ancient city.

You will also find just outside of Braga, the Ruínas romanas de Bracara Augusta. These Roman ruins of a city founded by the Roman emperor Augustus back in 300 B.C. was consider eth capital of the Iberian Peninsula. The site was also inhabited later on by the Visigoths and then finally by the Arabs. There are many important buildings and artifacts that have been uncovered in the area.

Perhaps the most amazing gardens in all of Portugal can be found in Braga. The Jardim de Santa Bárbara can be dated back to the 17th century and was originally part of the Archbishop’s Palace. Today it is home to a number of beautiful and colorful flowers, topiaries and other plants.

While located in a mountainous region of Portugal, it is good to know that one can also find some splendid golden beaches near to the city. A short trip will take you to some of the most secluded beaches in the country; perfect for getting that much needed rest and relaxation you have been looking for.

Photo by mariaminhota

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