The Episcopal Palace of Braga is rightly at the top of the list of the most visited places in the city. It is impossible to classify the exact time of this palace because the reconstruction of the building took place from the 14th to the 17th century. Today, the palace houses one of the oldest libraries in Portugal, with more than 10,000 manuscripts and 300,000 books. The Rectorate of the University of Minho and the district archives are also located in the palace.
The Episcopal Palace of Braga is located near the fortress of the Cathedral of Sé. The building was built at the end of the 14th century and was once the bishops’ residence. The Episcopal Palace consists of three different buildings, each of which has its own characteristics and was built at different times. These buildings are in Gothic, Baroque and Mannerist style.
The east wing overlooks the Sainte-Barbe garden, founded in the 14th century, the west wing overlooks the town square and was built in the 18th century in the Portuguese Baroque style. The south wing borders the square of the Episcopal Palace of Braga and consists of various buildings dating back to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. In the north wing, built in 1160, there is a large and beautiful room, in which the Archbishop received his visitors.
During the long history of the palace, there have been many changes in its buildings. After the restoration work carried out at the beginning of the 16th century, the palace became the residence of Royal Lieutenant Dovre. Then the palace housed the city’s main military warehouse. Over the centuries, the palace has been looted several times and there have been fires, but each time the building has been rebuilt.
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