PortugalPortoMissionfrom1996to2003
Braganša
Braganša lies in the northeaster corner of Portugal. After the steep mountain climb from Porto to Vila Real, Braganša rests on some rolling hills of this high plateau within site of the Spanish border. At an altitude of 2165 feet, snow is very common in the winter. In the summer it is hot and dry. The town has a very pleasant atmospher that is warm and friendly. Unlike the larger cities in Portugal that become bristle with life on the weekends, Braganša becomes a ghost town as the residence return to the native aldeias (villages).

Chapel
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The Braganša chapel is a converted, multistory house. The ground floor has the Sacrament room, branch president┤s office and class rooms. Down stairs is a garage/recreation room. Upstairs is an apartment that is currently vacant.
The Braganša castle lies to the south and east of the city on a small knoll. The castle was built in 1187. The Castle walls inclose a small town that is still alive and well. There is a town square, church, and other public buildings. This castle is one of the most complete in Northern Portugal with all the walls and towers still intact. Branganša Castle
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The Inner Castle walls and Keep
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The praša surrounding the inner walls of the castle is large, affording a good view of the walls, battlements, and tall keep. The castle keep is one of the most completely restored in Northern Portugal. It rises 108 feet. In side is housed a military museum. There are many rooms inside the keep that surround a central staircase. The large window at the top level provides light to a large room.
Inside the walls are a number of open areas that surround the keep. In the walls are a number of large chambers with slits to the outside for defense. These chambers were unusual because of their size. They are like large semicircular domes. You can see the opening to one of these chambers on the right in this picture. Inside the inner walls
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Domus
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Next to the inner castle and the church is the Domus. This pentagon shaped building was erected in the 12th century. It is the oldest town hall in Portugal. It is pierced on every side by small rounded arches. A frieze of carved modillions runs beneath the roof. The interior consists of one vast chamber and bellow is a basement with a former cistern. (Source: Michelin tour guide.)
While Portugal has 500 castles, most of them are in ruins. Those that have been restored a clearly museums or historical parks. The Braganša castle is different. These is still a small town within the castle walls. There are shops, restaurants, public buildings, and private residents. This is a view up one of the streets. The street is characteristically narrow and uncharacteristically straight. Street within the castle
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