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Bragança



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Proudly standing amidst the mountains in the north-eastern region of Trás-os-Montes, the ancient city of Bragança gave its name to the last royal dynasty of Portugal, which descends from an illegitimate son of king John I, who became the first Duke of Bragança, in 1442.

The isolated walled citadel dates from the 12th century and is surprisingly well preserved: it is worth admiring the Castle, with its watchtowers and dungeons, the pentagonal Domus Municipalis (an unique example of Romanesque civic architecture in Portugal, which served as a meeting place for the «good men» of the county) or the Medieval pillory, formed by a column rising above a stone pig; still within the citadel, the church of Saint Mary exhibits an elaborate carved portal restored in the 18th century.

Outside the walls there are also rich religious monuments, such as the Church of Saint Benedict, with magnificent painted ceilings, or the Church of Saint Vincent, built in the 13th century and reconstructed in the 17th, displaying splendid gilt-work and interesting tile panels.

The Abade de Baçal Museum exhibits paintings, sculptures, furniture, traditional costumes and even sinister instruments of torture.

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