As the oldest city in Portugal, Braga is full of peculiar expressions and myths that you will certainly enjoy discovering.
1) "You're from Braga, you leave the door open..."
When someone forgets to close the doors, it is usually said that the person is from Braga. Several versions of the legend run through the streets of the city, the best known being the fact that the people of Braga built walls in the region without any doors.
It is said that these walls only began to receive doors under the order of Archbishop Diogo de Sousa in the early 16th century. However, the well-known Porta Nova, which had the objective of creating a commercial area at the end of Rua Nova, never got a door due to the fact that the war was already over and the city extended outside these walls, thus becoming an exception before the other seven gates of the city.
Another myth related to the expression highlights the community spirit of the people of Braga, where everyone knows each other and do not worry about closing doors, which is still the case today in some Minho lands.
Take the opportunity to visit Arco da Porta Nova, just a 7-minute walk from Hotel Moon & Sun Braga.
2) Bom Jesus and its various legends
The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Braga, also known as the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, is one of the greatest national monuments and carries a lot of history, just a 12-minute drive from Hotel Moon & Sun Braga.
One of its legends dates back to the 14th century, related to the appearance of an open-air Cross after the Battle of Salado, near Serra do Carvalho. After this phenomenon, the archbishop and people from Braga went to the place and raised the Cross, where they later built a small Chapel. In this way, a local devotion to the Holy Cross was spontaneously born.
Another myth is related to the appearance of a Chalice in the 17th century, during the time of the restoration of independence. According to popular legend, a chalice appeared on Mount Espinho, causing the people of Braga to unite and flock to the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus, as a sign of gratitude and protection of the monument. Even today, many attribute the success of Portugal's Independence to this divine intervention.
3) S. Longuinhos and the Festivities of São João
The old local legend tells the story of a rich farmer called Longuinhos, a young single man, demure and esteemed by all. He lived close to Bom Jesus and was liked by the girls of the city, who considered him a great catch.
However, the boy was in love with a young woman named Rosinha who, upon learning of her future marriage to Longuinhos, began to pray, appealing to São João in desperation because of her passion for another young man in the city.
It is believed that Saint John addressed the farmer, arguing that he should not destroy the happiness of two young people in love, causing the engagement to end abruptly.
Therefore, during the São João festivities, the popular custom remains around the statue of São Longuinhos, accessible within a 16-minute drive from Hotel Moon & Sun Braga . At that time, many girls go to the monument to say prayers and thus try to hasten their marriages.