Fastest growing urban area
in the European Union
Braga is located in the Minho region, a historical province of northern Portugal. This region is limited to the north and northwest by Galiza (Spain), east by Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, south by Douro Litoral and west by the Atlantic Ocean.
Braga is the district capital and one of the biggest Portuguese cities an urban sphere population of 176.154 (2010). It is situated 190m above sea level in a valley surrounded by low mountains and hills.
Braga is well known for its historic association to the church – the municipality has a total of 62 parishes and it is the centre of the archbishopric.
The city is also the center of the greater Minho metropolitan area with a population of 798,137 residents and one of the fastest growing urban areas in the European Union. Under the Roman Empire, as Bracara Augusta, it was capital of the province Gallaecia. The present Mayor is Francisco Mesquita Machado, elected by the socialist party in 2005.
In Arts and Architecture, the city of Braga has a Roman-style center, well known for its many churches and monuments such as Bom Jesus do Monte, Sameiro sanctuary, the monastery of Tibães or the Braga Cathedral.
A modern symbol of the city is the new Municipal Stadium, carved out of the Monte Castro hill on occasion of the European Football Championships in 2004.
In commerce, business and transportation the major industries in the municipality are construction, metalomecanics, software development and web design. The computer industry is growing rapidly largely due to the importance of the University of Minho founded in Braga in 1973.
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Bom Jesus do Monte Santuary
and the baroque stairway
Santa Barbara Garden
and the Archbishop's Palace
sculpture over the city