The Bom Jesus do Monte, as we know it today is the result of multiple architectural interventions, combined with a significant effort of aesthetic update that since the late fifteenth century, have reaffirmed the religious vocation of this space.
Several artists from Braga took part in its construction, especially during the Baroque period, as the scenic feature of the staircase and the concept of pilgrimage site was accentuated in this time.
According to tradition, the Archdiocese of Braga dates back from the 3rd century; but history only confirms its existence since the year 400. The present building was built over on another religious building that was possibly the previous cathedral.
It was with Bishop Pedro (1070-1093) that began the building of the current cathedral. After him almost all his successors wanted to leave their mark, whether in small changes or major works.
The Parish Church of Caminha, also known as the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, is one of the most import religious buildings in northern Portugal.
Structurally following the three naves fortified-church Gothic model with a tower topped by battlements, this temple’s construction begun around 1488, and it depicts only a few Manueline style characteristics in the headboard and Mudéjar ceiling.
The Castro de S. Lourenço is a fortified settlement, dating back from the 4th century B.C.
Since the 2nd century B.C., homes were built in terraces all over the mountain. The excavated area showed the existence of housing units, which are often surrounded by a granite pavement. Three walls assure the inhabitants’ protection.
Ponte de Lima
On one of the most southern hilltops of Castelo Hill is situated the chester of St. Estevão da Facha.
Despite the excavated area is relatively small, taking into account its full extension, several elements were discovered, adding a number of testimonies that we consider very important for the knowledge of the Chester problematic since its beginning to its miscegenation with the Roman culture.
Castelo de Vila Nova de Cerveira
It was built in 1320, by order of King D. Dinis, to defend the newly created settlement of Vila Nova de Cerveira.
Oval, with a 260 meters perimeter, a major axis of 90 meters and a minor of 65, the Cerveira Castle is defended by eight square towers, five of them facing south, as this was the easiest attack point.
Viana do Castelo
The construction of old Saint Anne convent, for Benedictines nuns, was ordered by the local nobility on the back of the Town Hall, to lodge the unmarried daughters of the city’s nobility.
The original convent, with gothic origins, is a work of Pedro Galego, an inhabitant of Caminha, where he led the second phase of work in the First Church, in the early 16th century.
Valenca do Minho is, for various reasons, the most important walled settlement of the Alto Minho, dating back from Roman times.
In the seventeenth century, in the period of the Restoration of the Portuguese Independence Wars, an impressive fortification was built, taking advantage of the area’s topographic conditions, a majestic project that was assumed as a work of propaganda and threat against the neighbouring Spain.
Ponte da Barca
Overlooking Spain, in a dominant position in the Amarela Mountain this castle was built from scratch in the Middle Ages, to defend and protect the country borders.
It is considered as one of the most important Portuguese military monuments, for its technical and architectural innovations.
Ponte de Lima
This building dates back from 1469. It was the residence of the Viscounts of Vila Nova de Cerveira, later Marquises of Ponte de Lima.
Legacy of Francisco António Magalhães da Cunha, it became Holy House of Mercy Hospital, when in 1924/25 the Cardeal Saraiva street was opened and the former Hospital located in front of the parish church was split into:
- The northern building, integrating the church the Consistory seat
- The southern building, encompassing the Hospital.
The Palace of the Dukes of Bragança in Guimarães is one of the most visited palaces by by Portuguese and foreigners.
The Palace of the Dukes of Bragança, in Guimarães was built in the15th century by D. Afonso (illegitimate son of King John I and Inês Pires Esteves), 1st Duke of the House of Braganza and 8th Count of Barcelos, by the time of his second marriage to Lady Constance de Noronha (daughter of D. Afonso, Count of Gijón and Noronha and Lady Isabel, Mistress of Viseu).
Ponte de Lima
“It is remarkable the segmental arch of the entrance, the beautiful shrine of the Bertiandos House, next to entrance door, on the Gospel side (built in 1540 by Inês Pinto, Lopo Pereira's wife), the carving of the side altar of Our Lady das Dores (built in 1729 by Miguel Coelho, an artist from Barcelos) and the Renaissance arch of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, with the coat of arms of the Guimarães family , on the right (1589).
At the end of the last century,, the tower of the Mother Church has been changed, out of all aesthetic proportion ... to better check the hours on the quadriptique display.”
Conde D'Aurora, Roteiro da Ribeira Lima, 1959
Ponte de Lima
"It has a large and beautiful bridge long and spacious, with many pillars rising from a river running along called the Lima, and twelve walled and watched towers, and people always around, except at night, when all the doors are closed with stone, except that of the bridge, and many groceries and goods are safe...”"
Fernão Lopes, Chronica d'El-Rei D. João I, Vol. IV, B. de Classicos Portuguezes, Lisboa, 1897
The Monastery of St. John d’ Arga is located in the Arga Mountain, in Arga de Baixo. Its Chapel of St. John, is one of the most important medieval testimonies in the region.
This monastery overlooks the Minho River, and its home to an ancient pilgrimage, worshipping St. John the Baptist.
Arcos de Valdevez
This is one of the largest communitarian threshing-ground constituted by 24 stone granaries standing on granite.
The most ancient one goes back to 1782. These granite monuments were built at a time when corn started being grown on a regular basis and they were used for the protection of cereal from storms and rodents.
Viana do Castelo
The building works of the sanctuary on the hilltop of Santa Luzia started in 1904 and were completed in 1959, by the initiative of Santa Luzia Brotherhood, the entity responsible for the monument.
The Monument-Temple glorifies the name of Santa Luzia (Saint Lucy), to whom in 1882 the Cavalry Captain Luis de Sousa Andrade resorts to, in the former chapel of Santa Luzia, stricken with severe eye-trouble.
Healed, he establishes the Confraria (Brotherhood) of Santa Luzia, in order to thank for his recovery.
Founded in the late 10 th century, the early 11th, it was rebuilt in the last third of the 11th century, becoming, with royal support and the granting of Cartas de Couto, one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in northern Portugal.
With the Reform Movement and the end of the religious crisis between the 14th and 16th centuries, the Monastery of St. Martin of Tibães attends the foundation of the Congregation of St. Benedict of Portugal and Brazil, and becomes the Mother house of all Benedictine monasteries and a diffuser of cultures and aesthetics movements.