Braganca

Found in far north-eastern Portugal is the town and municipality of Braganca. Two of the four sides to the municipality are bordered by Spain whose history goes back many centuries.  Many old structures remain, making Braganca a favourite destination for architecture lovers.  People also flock to Braganca for the Mediterranean weather and culture, which is among the best in the country.

Braganca is on the edge of the Montesinho Natural Park, dedicated in 1979 to preserve the original appeal of the region.  Trees of wood and pine are scattered around the landscape, with wild animals such as wolves and foxes as well.

The proximity of Braganca to the ocean and elevation of 674 meters results in cooler temperatures when compared to the majority of the rest of Portugal.  The city enjoys cooler than average Mediterranean weather.  Winters can be among Western Europe’s coldest, yet they are still manageable.  High temperatures reach a mild 28 degrees in July with eight degrees Celsius average for January highs.  The lower temperatures are about 14 in July, and a cold 0.3 degrees is the January low.

The most unusual feature in Braganca is the 200 granite pig statues that are located throughout the city.  Some of these monuments reach 2 meters.  It is believed that the boars were used as part of ancient Celtic fertility rituals.

The Cidadela castle was constructed in the 12th century, and the castle and adjoining buildings dominate Braganca’s cultural attractions.  Included in the castle complex are the defensive barrier, converted into the Museu Militar (military history, including suits of armour) and the 12th century municipal building built by Romans.  The interior of the Domus Municipalis (Town Hall) is a large room to accommodate public events, lit by little arches that encompass the hall.

Braganca is served by Porto Airport, but it is located over 172 kilometres from the city centre of Braganca.  This means you really need to consider car hire at Porto Airport in order to get here.

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