It is here that the keys to the city are kept - keys to a thousand year-old city whose monuments serve as reminders of the awesome power once wielded by its bishops.
Back in Roman times, emperor Caracala raised Bracara Augusta to the status of capital of Galécia, now Galicia.
After the Romans came the Sueves, Visigoths and Moors before the Christians took possession in the 11th century. Braga’s cathedral is the oldest in the country, a fact reflected in the popular saying "as old as the Braga Se" to refer to anything that has withstood the test of time. The city’s ecclesiastical power, in medieval times commonly associated with the sword, extended out across the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal. Around the Braga Cathedral Se, monuments were added with the passing of time.
In the 16th century, archbishop Diogo de Sousa, impressed with the Rome of Pope Julius II, set about creating the decorative grace of the Renaissance.
Later, the exuberance of the Baroque period would result in other equally splendid buildings. But city has reminders of all eras, such as a mid-street medieval tower, or window shutters designed to hide the female form or a Rocaille palace that looks like a Luis 15th commode.
In more recent times, the opening of the University and the quality of the contemporary architecture has generated a youthful influx as well as all the light, colour and unpredictability of the modern world.