Visit to Braga Cathedral, Portugal

Braga is 55kms north of Porto. From Porto, the plan was to drive to Guimaraes, a Unesco World Heritage site. But Bom Jesus do Monte a pilgrimage site near Braga seemed so alluring that we planned a night halt at Braga. By the time we reached our hotel it was almost eight in the evening. That part of the town looked calm and there were hardly any people in the streets. Luckily we got a good restaurant and had local food there.

We gave up plans of discovering the city that night. It had already been a long day in Tomar with Monastery of Tomar in the morning, touring Coimbra at noon and evening at Porto. Both body and mind demanded a pause.

The next day we explored the town for a while, again not much crowd. We were early I think. The cathedral too hadn’t opened luckily some souvenir shops were open. The main site we spent time was at Braga’s Cathedral and the souvenirs shops around it. I found the souvenirs here cost the least compared to the other cities of Portugal.

Braga Cathedral 1Braga Cathedral 3

History of Braga Cathedral

Braga was the capital Suebi Kingdom during 3rd century. It was a catholic kingdom till Moors conquered it 8th century. The city was back to Christian hands during 11th century. Braga cathedral is older than the nation itself. Bishop Pedro started to build a cathedral, consecrated it in 1089. The construction of Braga Cathedral spanned 2 centuries and was completed in middle of 13th century. So it has a touch of different architectural styles.

The interior is such a mix of styles. It is very much evident that the continuity in styles is missing. The original Romanesque style of architecture is almost gone except at nave. Of the 5 chapels only the main chapel is in manueline style rest are in baroque.

The most stunning part of Braga cathedral interiors is the high choir near entrance of the cathedral. The organ has intricate and has enormous amount of gilded work on it. You can see in picture below. It belongs to the baroque period. This is the first sight that caught my attention and I was completely mesmerized and kept gazing at it till my neck ached. The painted ceiling and sculptured gilt wood work is one of its kinds in whole of Portugal I read later. It is placed in a symmetric manner on both sides of transept.

Braga Cathedral 5Braga Cathedral 4

Tickets and Open Timings of Braga Cathedral

Open every day of the week from 8 in morning to 7 in evening.
Entrance tickets cost 5euros per person.

Travel Tips to Braga

If you are staying in Braga plan a day’s outing to the country’s first capital nearby, the World Heritage city of Guimarães.
Visit Bom Jesus do Monte a pilgrimage site near Braga.
Porto, a city of monumental bridges is 55kms south of Braga.

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39 Responses

  1. eileen says:

    Hello, it is a lovely cathedral. Beautiful stained glass. It is great to try the local food. Sounds like an awesome place to visit. Have a happy new week ahead!

  2. Shweta says:

    So right at 8 pm it surely gets deserted 🙂 awesome pics and an elaborate post 🙂

  3. Its always very interesting to read your posts, come to know something new every time have a nice trip..

  4. Divsi says:

    Lovely pictures! Such a gorgeous architecture!

  5. Gunilla says:

    Gorgeous! The details are amazing.

  6. Great! I love the pics

  7. Jyothi D'mello says:

    Such intricate designs. I loved the little angels at the sides and the top of the altar.

  8. Wow! All photos you’ve taken are mesmerising. No words for this beautiful architecture.

  9. Ami says:

    The high choir definitely is beautiful. Another beautiful site that has been got my travel itch stronger .

  10. Arun says:

    Brilliant pictures of the grand interior!

  11. yogi Saraswat says:

    Lovely pictures Indrani ji ! Such a beautiful architecture of the cathedral !

  12. The architectures of cathedrals always amaze me. I have had the opportunity to visit a few myself!

  13. Chaitali says:

    How rich and ornate, different culture different time.

  14. I can understand why you could not take off your eyes…gorgeous interiors.

  15. Seems like a really beautiful place with all the spectacular architecture! Very well written too.

  16. Pictures are vibrant and colorful. And also learnt a few things!

  17. Niranjan says:

    Looks gorgeous with magnificent work.

  18. The artistry is evident in the cathedrals in Europe in much the same way as it is in the temples and forts of India.

  19. Nisha says:

    Such rich intricate ornate designs. I loved the shots taken by looking up. 🙂

  20. Love you exploration spirit! The result is the discoveries of awesome places like this cathedral. Everything there looks very intricate and pretty.

  21. Jeevan says:

    The cathedral sounds to be very ancient. Amazing interior and details to observe!

  22. For me churches and cathedrals are usually a good place to get a great view over the area. I usually never consider the interior of the churches. But as seen in your photos, the interior can really be filled with art pieces. 🙂

  23. Dane says:

    I can not even believe the ceiling of that building! So much detail and so intricate. Amazing!

  24. mike says:

    I love how you mix useful info like the 5 euro entrance fee with historical facts. Great photos too. This cathedral looks absolutely beautiful!

  25. Lovely Cathedral. Looks so peaceful and also the architecture is amazing. I loved the glass painting.

  26. Lovely blog. I explored the Portuguese houses in Fontainhas in Goa last month. It made me want to visit Portugal.

  27. So gorgeous, hopefully one day I will be able to make my way to these places. Every photo makes it look like a photographers dream!

  28. Emily says:

    Beautiful cathedral. That organ is stunning! I can’t believe how big and ornate it is. I bet you were tempted to play it! Must get to Portugal one day…

  29. Such a splendid architecture 🙂 I haven’t been there, but definitely I will go 🙂 Brillant pictures!

  30. Cathedrals always seem to be good places to visit as a tourist. I really like the pictures of Braga Cathedral and the gold inside. Portugal has such stunning architecture and a rich history.

  31. Christina says:

    Really nice content of the history behind the cathedral and some helpful tips. It looks beautiful! I always enjoy seeing different cathedrals they are all similar yet so different.

  32. The Cathedral looks amazing. We would love to explore Portugal. Will keep this in our list. Wonderful post

  33. Looks very intricate! I’ve been planning on visiting the country forever…

  34. Another wonderful cathedral. As usual, this one too diid not disappoint. Awesome sculpuyures all over! Also good to note some interesting work on colourful glass.

  35. Brown Gal Trekker says:

    What a gorgeous cathedral. I definitely would love to check this in person when in Braga. Thanks for posting about it.

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