Palácio do Raio is a true and exquisite example of barroque architecture. Braga is known in Portugal as a barroque city (it is also known as the Portuguese Rome, the city of Archbishops, but that stays for another time) and the best example of civil architecture of that period is this amazing house, nowadays functioning as an interpretative center of Braga’s Misericórdia. This house was made by the architect André Soares, born in this city and it was built between 1754 and 1755. The blue mosaics that you can see in the façade were made in the 19th century.
A restoration was made in 2015 and after it the Misericórdia, which owns the building, created an permanent exhibition about its History and also about one of the most important processions that happen in Holy Week, the Ecce Hommo, which is unique in the country (and Braga has a lot of traditions in Holy Week that are unique). I truly recommend to see it. Even if you don’t like the theme of the exhibition, the building is worth visit per se.
If you want to discover more about Braga, next to Palácio do Raio you can find 2 museums, the Museu do Traje and the Fonte do Ídolo. The first is about the traditional clothing of Braga and folklore and the second is about the ruins of a fountain that dates to a time before Romans created Bracara Augusta.
Palácio do Raio – Rua do Raio, Braga
Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am-1pm and 2.30pm-6.30pm, Free Entrance