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Santuário do Sameiro (Sameiro sanctuary)

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The best views in Braga

Translated by Evie Quinlan — one year ago

Original text by Daniel ..

The best views in Braga.

Let's continue our visit to the city of Braga. In the previous article about Braga, we focused on the Bom Jesús sanctuary. In this article, we will focus on another one of the sanctuaries known as the Sanctuary of Sameiro.

How to get there

The best views in Braga.

The best option is to combine your visit to Bom Jesús with the Church of Sameiro. You will find this place 2 km from the village of Bom Jesús (these are a few of the houses born from the religious tourism of Bom Jesús).

You can take the N309 which will take you right in front of the steps of the Sanctuary or there is also a small dirt track between Bom Jesús and Sameiro. It is not signposted but it appears on Google Maps. Basically, at Bom Jesús, instead of taking the N309 to the right, take a small road to the right as well but it is more of a slope. The road can be done walking and perhaps on a motorbike or a bike but don't try it in a car since it has big potholes in the road. I saw a car that came from Sameiro and it had to turn around.

Also, there is another option of going by bus but I don't think that it is the best option since it goes around the surrounding villages.

A little bit of history...

The best views in Braga.

The Sanctuary of the Virgin of Sameiro or 'Santuário da Nossa Senhora do Sameiro' is one of the places of the 'Marino' cult (the cult to the Virgin Mary) par excellence from Portugal.

This place has been relatively recently created, 1854, the Pope Pio IX then indicated that the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary would be converted into Catholic dogma. That is to say that Mary, the mother of Jesus, could only be virgin for giving him life. This is something interesting that is so recent since we refer to her as the Virgin Mary in Spanish.

So then, due to this new dogma, monuments of it were created throughout the whole world and Sameiro mountain was thought as a good place to create a sanctuary. In 1863 they started the works of a chapel which was later destroyed, I don't know if it was through natural causes or humans.

In 1890, they started the works of the current church of Sameiro and in 1936 they added a chapel to it. Then much later on, in 1979, they added crypts to it where they lay the remains of Father Martinho, who promoted the works of the original Chapel.

It also had various visits from Pope John Paul II, the one of the First World War, so it is normal to find yourself in front of a statue of this Pope. In Coimbra there is one and in the Sanctuary of Sameiro, there is another. In addition to avenues and other gifts because this pope had a great devotion for Fatima.

The Sanctuary

The best views in Braga.

I think that the sanctuary of Sameiro compliments the Sanctuary of Bom Jesús well. The most beautiful thing about the Sanctuary are the views as you are at an altitude of 566 metres. Whilst at the Bom Jesús it was the whole of the monument more than the views.

The church is a Neoclassic church but it is very noticeable that it was constructed in the XIX century. Inside the most beautiful things are the altarpieces that are in different parts of the church and its dome, although a blue tent prevented me from seeing it in its entirety.

You can visit the crypts and the dome: the dome for 1 euro and I'm not entirely sure about the crypts but the style will be worth it. I have not visited it due to lack of time as I had to go back to Porto and it was getting dark. But I don't think that I missed anything from the other world because they are recent structures and without as much value as certain medieval or Roman catacombs that can be preserved in certain places.

The stairs to get there are nothing special, they are not as convoluted as the Bom Jesús do Monte and if you choose the dirt road you can jump. It is also a shame that they did not calculate it well, since while in the Bom Jesus from the start you can take a spectacular photograph of the church, yet here to be more inclined, you are somewhat cut off the church.

Of its surroundings, it emphasizes a very interesting chapel divided into several parts, I think 4 if I am not mistaken. In each part, the figure of a saint is found. To name one, the figure of Pope John Paul II, recently added in 2004, which is at the beginning of the stairs by which you access the Basilica of Sameiro.

The best views in Braga.

But without a doubt, what stands out most and is a must-see is its fantastic views, and although the landscape is a large and urban, the place is quite elevated and it shows a fantastic view of its surroundings.

It is something really magical and it serves well as a complement to the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus, since each one shows you different religious things. The place, at least at this time, is not as touristy as the Bom Jesus so one can take magnificent photos such as the one that can be seen in the last photograph.

In conclusion, although the church in itself is nothing out of this world, nor is the way to access it as is the case with Sanctuary of Bom Jesus it is interesting to be here for its magnificent views that allow you to see the surroundings of Braga. Also, it is only 2 km away so there is no excuse not to visit it.

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