Sunday, May 26, 2013

Braga, Portugal

I made a one-day trip to Braga and I got to see the most important places: Cathedral and Bom Jesus do Monte.
The Cathedral in Braga is the oldest one in Portugal dating from the 11th century. Built in the Manueline and baroque styles, this cathedral has great art and treasury hidden inside. There are twin organs that are just magnificent. There is a little museum with jewels like the sculpture of Nossa Senhora do Leite (the Virgin breastfeeding the child) made by Nicolas Chanterene in the 16th century; the cross used in the first mass in Brazil in 1500; and the tombs of Henri of Burgundy and Dona Theresa parents of the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques. It costs 5 euros per person for the guided tour in the chapels and the museum.
Bom Jesus do Monte is resort meets convent. This church was completed in the 19th century in the Neoclassical style. The ‘monte’ part is that you have to climb 116 m (381 ft) through the baroque stairway but the view from up there is absolutely breath taking (literally!).  The stairs are divided in three parts: the Stations of the Cross, the five senses, and the three virtues. The Stations of the Cross, regardless of your creed, have very vivid scenes about the Passion of the Christ. Worth the additional effort and involuntary workout.
There is a suburbano train from Porto Sao Bento and Porto Campanha to Braga’s train station that is about 1.5 km far from the center. It costs around 3.20 euros per person per trip.

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