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Plus special discounts on selected TOURS and a variety of HOTELS.



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Central, stylishly furnished, and cheaper than most hotels.

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Stylish accommodation in the center of the city has given Lisbon awards for world's best hostels every year.

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BRAGANCA TOURISM GUIDE

An ancient medieval town, mysterious stones, and one of Europe's wildest regions


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Bragança - Abade 
de Baçal Museum, with a view to the castle Surrounded by a long fortified wall, Bragança retains a well-preserved medieval center. It is the isolated capital of the province of Tras-os-Montes, an area known for its remoteness and antiquity.

Braganca's Castle Scattered around the province are some 200 "porcas" or "berrões," granite pigs or boars dating from the Iron Age, some up to 2m (6ft) in length. Their intended purpose is not known, although most likely they were involved in fertility cults practiced by the local Celtic tribes. Many of them now decorate village squares, as is the case in Bragança, used as the base of a Gothic pillory standing by the 12th century castle. The 33m (108ft)-high castle keep contains a Military Museum displaying medieval suits of armor and weapons.
Among the former residents of the castle was Dona Leonor, wife of Dom Jaime, Duke of Bragança, who imprisoned her inside on suspicion of adultery. He later had her murdered in the town of Vila Viçosa, and today one of the castle's towers has the name of "Torre da Princesa," or "Princess Tower," in her honor.

Braganca's Church of Santa Maria By the castle is a clutch of whitewashed houses, the 18th century Church of Santa Maria (with a colorful painted ceiling depicting the Assumption of the Virgin), and the unusual 13th-century Domus Municipalis, probably the oldest town hall in Portugal and one of the few surviving Romanesque civic buildings in Europe.

To the north is the appealing Church of São Bento with a Moorish-style vaulted ceiling, and to the west is the Church of São Vicente, where Dom Pedro and Inês de Castro were secretly married in 1354 (see our Coimbra page for their tragic love story).

Further west is the 16th century Bishop's Palace, now the distinguished Abade de Baçal Museum. Its collection includes Celtic art from the surrounding area, ancient stone porcas, tombstones, milestones, paintings, and local costumes.

Braganca's Domus Municipalis Bragança makes a good base for visitors exploring the Montesinho Natural Park, one of the wildest regions in Europe.
Time has stood still in this area, with many paths dating from the Visigothic empire (many of the villages such as Fresulfe and Sernande still bear distinctly Germanic names), and wolves, foxes, and golden eagles among the around 9,000 people scattered around small villages.

The villages of RIO DE ONOR and MIRANDA DO DOURO on the border with Spain have been the subject of many anthropological studies and provide a fascinating insight into the local way of life. The people have developed their own dialects mixing Portuguese and Spanish, and ancient traditions still flourish such as the use of bagpipes in the folklore, Celtic associations similar to those of Scotland and Ireland. It is also not uncommon to see women washing clothes in the river or donkeys as a means of transport.

Regular buses run to Vila Real, Chaves, Viseu, Porto, and Lisbon. Those who choose to stay overnight, have the choice of a pousada nearby, with views to the castle.

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Places Nearby

Vila Real - A delightful baroque palace
Chaves - A spa town with a 2-millenium-old Roman bridge



CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES IN PORTUGAL
AROUND LISBON
AND TAGUS VALLEY
Alcobaça
Arrábida
Azeitão
Batalha
Cascais
Ericeira
Estoril
Fatima
Leiria
Mafra
Nazaré
Obidos
Palmela
Peniche
Queluz
Santarém
Sesimbra
Setubal
Sintra
Tomar
ALENTEJO
Beja
Castelo de Vide
Elvas
Estremoz
Evora
Marvão
Mértola
Monsaraz
Vila Viçosa

ALGARVE
Albufeira
Faro
Lagos
Sagres
Silves
Tavira
Vila Real de Santo António
Vilamoura
BEIRAS (CENTRAL PORTUGAL)
Aveiro
Belmonte
Buçaco
Coimbra
Conimbriga
Figueira da Foz
Guarda
Monsanto
Piodão
Serra da Estrela
Viseu

PORTO AND DOURO
Amarante
Lamego
Porto
MINHO
Barcelos
Braga
Gerês National Park
Guimarães
Ponte de Lima
Ponte da Barca
Viana do Castelo

TRAS-OS-MONTES
Bragança
Chaves
Vila Real

THE ISLANDS
Azores
Madeira