Founded in the folding of the era (circa 16 BC), Bracara Augusta is one of the three urban centers of the peninsular northwest region, created in the context of an administrative organization, carried out by Emperor Cesar Augustus.
The importance that it came to know over more than five centuries, rests directly on the existence here, from the outset, of six great roads (XIV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX and XX of the Antonine Itinerary), and that from here they went to all directions of the Iberian Peninsula.
As capital of conventus iuridicus, it holds important judicial, fiscal, administrative and religious functions. Under the domain of the Flavian dynasty, Bracara Augusta goes under a great economic flourishing and urban development, that later justifies its elevation to the capital of the province of Galecia, created by Diocletian.
In the course of the IV century, Bracara Augusta is still a flourishing city, and becomes the episcopal see. Later, after the fall of the Roman Empire in the West and the barbarian invasions, it becomes the capital of the Suevian Kingdom, with the installation of these people in the region. However, still in the middle of the VI century, the city subsists as a religious and cultural center. Apparently, more than the barbarian invasions, the successive attacks and destructions by the Arabs were the responsibles for the decay and widespread abandonment of Bracara Augusta.
During the Middle Ages, the Roman city of Bracara Augusta, is partially sacrificed by the medieval city and buried largely in its farms and backyards.
From the seventies of last century, with the constitution of the first team of peninsular archeology, with systematic intervention in urban areas, Bracara Augusta begins to be gradually rediscovered, being today, thanks to it, the urban center with the best known nationally map of the archaeological subsoil.
From the intensive and rigorous work developed over more than four decades by this pioneering team, based at the University of Minho Archaeological Unit, resulted an immense and rich archaeological treasure, visible through permanent exhibitions in the modern and functional D. Diogo de Sousa Regional Museum of Archeology, and in a set of ruins contained in urban archaeological spaces duly musealized and open to the public.
Archaeological Ruins of the Frigideiras do Cantinho (Ruínas Arqueológicas das Frigideiras do Cantinho)
Nucleus of ruins of a Roman Domus, musealized under the floor of one of the oldest bakeries in Braga. Here, there are remains of compartments, and of a hypocaust of a seaside resort, belonging to the housing structure, dating from the III / IV AD centuries.
Fountain of the Idol (Fonte do Ídolo)
It is a rock sanctuary of pre-Roman origin, dedicated to the indigenous goddess Nabia, closely linked to the cult of water and fertility. It was monumentalized at the beginning of the city's foundation by an immigrant named Celico Fronto, who ordered the sculptures and inscriptions visible in front of the sanctuary.
Later, the descendants of this immigrant renewed the monument building a lake in front of the fountain facade.
Pius XII Museum (Museu Pio XII)
The Pius XII Museum provides visitors with a tour of history, from the period of the Paelolithic to the Iron Age, from the romanization to the Christian era. Each epoch is documented with abundant traces. Among the exhibits are a bronze gladiator, a grandiose dolium and a Roman mosaic, the result of excavations in the cloister of the Conciliar Seminary of St. Peter and St. Paul. These excavations uncovered a Roman Domus.
Archaeological Ruins of Paularte Office (Ruínas Arqueológicas da Oficina Paularte)
Traces of sidewalk and turret associated with a Roman wall, dating from the middle of the century III AD. There are vestiges of the door corresponding to the maximum thistle of Bracara Augusta, where was located the old Roman route XIX (Antonine itinerary) in direction of Lucus Augusti.
Domus of the Cathedral’s Old School (Domus da Escola Velha da Sé)
Arising from an archaeological intervention directed by the Archaeological Office of the Braga City Hall, these ruins depict important moments of evolution of the urban fabric of Braga, as exemplified by the remains of a housing structure from the I / IV century AD, as well as vestiges of the ancient medieval fence and a tower from the XIV century AD.
Roman Ruins of Carvalheiras (Insula das Carvalheiras)
The excavations carried out allowed the discovery of remains of a residential area delimited by streets, lined with porticoes (I / VI AD), thus defining an urban block (insulae) of the old Bracara Augusta.
Classified as a Property of Public Interest since 1990, the archaeological ruins of Carvalheiras are currently under musealization.
Pre-Roman Baths of the Station (Balneário Pré-Romano da Estação)
Monument of an indigenous tradition, identified as part of an archaeological accompaniment carried out by the Archeology Unit of the University of Minho in 2000, when the current railway station of Braga was refurbished. These ruins correspond to a resort with ritual functions and are currently integrated in the basement of the Station building, whose walls include a set of informative panels on it.
Roman Baths of Alto da Cividade (Termas Romanas do Alto da Cividade)
On the hill of Alto da Cividade, inside a large protected and fenced area, there are some of the Roman public baths known up to now in Braga. The building was discovered in 1977, when the first excavations on site were carried. At the moment, the Roman baths of Alto da Cividade are classified as a National Monument, are musealized and open to the public.
D. Diogo de Sousa Regional Museum of Archeology (Museu Regional de Arqueologia D. Diogo de Sousa)
Inaugurated in June 2007, this museum, under the tutelage of the Regional Directorate for the North Culture (DRCN), has collections resulting from the archaeological investigation carried out throughout the times in the northern region, with greater incidence in the county of Braga. Its collection covers a vast chronological and cultural period, between the Palaeolithic and the Middle Ages.