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Municipal Chamber of Braga – Portugal

As we strolled through Braga (Portugal), we arrive at the Jardim da Praça do Municipio and the “Paços do Concelho”, the Municipal Chamber or Town Hall.

Surprisingly we found an exhibition of Volkys / Beetles prepared in the rally style. Some very old and all aligned both in front of the Municipal Palace, and around the central fountain of the Jardim. Definitely, an exhibition worthy of the iconic Volky.

The current building of the Municipical Chamber is the work of André Soares, an artist and architect from Baracoa known for his Baroque style works. Among his projects we can find the Casa do Raio and other structures in Braga. The home of the Câmara Municipal was built between 1753 and 1756 at the request of Archbishop Don José de Bragança in order to centralize the political-administrative activity of the city. The building was finally completed almost 100 years later in 1865. The municipal complex is located on the so-called Campo de Touros or the old Bullfighting Arena.

The Palace of the Municipal Chamber is considered one of the most important examples of Baroque architecture in Braga. In addition, it is the only work of André Soares duly documented. The facade highlights the “door-niche-fronton” bordered by strong pilasters.

The “Fonte do Pelicano” (Fountain of the Pelican) in the center of the Jardim da Praça do Municipio was built in bronze. In spite of the name, literally it is not a pelican the bird in the fountain, but an allegory to the “evanistic pelican”, religious symbolism of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in giving his body and blood to grant eternal life to the people.

It is interesting to note that at the front is the Episcopal Palace at a level superior to that of the Municipal Chamber, confirming the importance of the church on civil matters.

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