Antigo Paço Episcopal & Around

sights / Architecture

Antigo Paço Episcopal & Around information

Braga , Portugal
Opening hours
9am-12.30pm & 2-7.30pm Mon-Fri
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Facing the cathedral is the severe Antigo Paço Episcopal. Begun in the 14th century and enlarged in the 17th and 18th centuries, it’s now home to university offices and the municipal library. A heavily carved, painted and gilded ceiling looks down on the library’s computer room; this and the azulejos lining the main stairway are well worth a peek.

Outside the spiky-topped, medieval north wing is the 17th-century square known as Jardim de Santa Bárbara , with narrow paths picking their way through a sea of flowers and topiary. On sunny days, the adjacent pedestrian-only streets fill with buskers and cafe tables.

At the western end of neighbouring Praça do Município, Braga’s câmara municipal (town hall) sports one of Portugal’s finest baroque facades, designed by André Soares da Silva. A more extroverted Soares work is the Casa do Raio , its rococo face covered in azulejos . They’re both closed to the public, but still worth seeing from the outside.