A short trainride away from Porto, Braga is perfect for a day trip. It is the “capital” of the Catholic Church in Portugal, featuring the oldest cathedral in Portugal and a lot of other churches.
First, a quick detour by bus to Bom Jesus, a religious sanctuary with a total of almost 600 steps to the very top. Beautiful symmetrical architecture and flat white surfaces. The integrated fountains dedicated to the five senses are a bit creepy, though. Water tubes stuck in both eyes and water coming out of ears…yeah, just great.
Back in Braga, a quick visit to the Raio Palace with a temporary baroque painting collection before finally making it to the cathedral. I recommend getting the guided tour (which features a guy opening hidden doors with old-fashioned keys and showing you to the upper choir). Just the close-up view of the two (!) organs covered in figurines and gold (again) is well worth the €2 tour.
September 23rd 2017