Touring the Minho Region

During the beginning of the trip we have stayed mostly in Braga, which is located in the Minho region of Portugal. Today with the help of a tour guide from Guides in Portugal we saw three cities also in this region, Viana, Pointe de Lima and Barcelinhos. Each of the cities was full of life from the medieval architecture to the many weddings we walked by. Due to the strong Catholic history each city had a beautiful church.

In Viana, we visited Santa Casa da Misericordia de Viana do Castelo which was completed in 1722, just six years after the start of construction. Inside of the church, many styles come together, including baroque, rococo and renaissance. Around the church are detailed wood carving covered in gold leaf, decorative tiles, painting and sculptures. One the tiles the seven works of mercy are displayed. Representations of the Passion of Christ are prevalent in the church. Viana also had another church on the top of a hill. The view from the top was stunning, but due to a wedding we could not enter the church.

After Viana, we went Pointe de Lima where we started with a lunch at Restaurante Acude. Out the restaurant water is a beautiful view of the Vez river As a starter we were served bread, cheese and pork ears. For a main course there was a choice between fish and pork, both of which were delicious. Extremely full from lunch we made our way to the historic downtown. In this downtown, remained a Roman bridge and parts of the ancient city wall. Though not as elaborate as the church in Viana, there was the Camara Municipal de Ponte de Lima, a small chapel from at least the 18th century.


Lastly, on the way back to Braga we stoped in Barchelinhos. There was another church, the Templo do Senhor Bom Jesus da Cruz. What stood out to me at first about this church was the circular shape. Inside the church to the right is an elaborate wood carvings covered in gold leaf, around the lady of sorrow. Around the pews  were blue and white flowers from a wedding earlier that day.

In the Minho region many of the cities may seem similar at first but each have their own unique history.