Its more than 30 churches gave her the nickname of “Portuguese Rome”, making it one of Portugal's main religious centres. With a history dating back to the Romans — who are thought to be the city's founders, and left many traces in the region — Bracara Augusta, as it was once called, is still home to a huge amount of buildings bearing the scars of time. It is here that we find the country's oldest cathedral — the Cathedral of Braga, dating back to the year of 1070. It serves as final resting place for Henry and Teresa, parents of Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal.
But the main attraction is the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, “watching the city through a straw" at the top of the hill. This is one of Portugal's most visited religious sites, outdone only by the Shrine of Fatima. Its Baroque staircase, with over 500 steps and ornamented with multiple thematic fountains, provide access to the neoclassical building that delights those who dare to make the climb. The access can also be done by a funicular, located right next to the staircase.