Myths that represent the City of Braga
As the oldest city in Portugal, Braga is full of peculiar expressions and myths that you will certainly enjoy discovering.
1) "You are from Braga, you always leave the door open…"
When someone forgets to close doors, it is usually said that the person is from Braga. Several versions of this legend run through the city streets, the best known being the fact that 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, in the well-known Porta Nova, which would have created a commercial area at the end of Rua Nova, a door was never placed as the war was already over and the city was extended outside these walls, thus becoming an exception from the other seven gates of the city.
Another myth related to the expression highlights the community spirit that is characteristic to the people of Braga, where everyone knows each other and does not worry about closing doors, which still happens today in some Minho regions.
Take the opportunity to visit Arco da Porta Nova, within 7-minute walking distance 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 and is just at a 12-minute drive from Hotel Moon & Sun Braga.
One of its legends dates to the 14th century, related to the appearance of a Cross in the sky after the Battle of Salado, near Serra do Carvalho. When this phenomenon occurred, 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 associated to the appearance of a Chalice in the 17th century, during the time of the restoration of Portugal’s independence. According to the popular legend, a chalice appeared on Mount Espinho, reuniting and rushing the people of Braga towards 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 Saint John
The old local legend tells the story of a rich farmer called Longuinhos, a young single man, modest and esteemed by all. He lived close to Bom Jesus and was adored 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 for her passion for another young man in the city.
It is said that Saint John addressed the farmer, arguing that he should not destroy the happiness of two young people in love, which caused 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.