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Building of Braga’s City Hall

Building of Braga’s City Hall

The current Building of Braga’s City Hall (Câmara Municipal de Braga), which substituted the previous, from the Renaissance, was built between the years 1753 and 1756, at the expense of the City Senate and by expressed will of the Archbishop D. José de Bragança, legitimate brother of King D. João V’s (SMITH, 1973, p. 506). Its plan was designed by André Soares, Braga’s artist and main name of the Minho baroque, celebrated by its traces of architecture and carving. Responsible for the promotion of the civil and religious construction in Braga, during the mid XVIII century, Santos also performed a remarkable urban intervention in the city (SERRÃO, 2003, p. 269). Placed in the named Bull’s Camp (Campo de Touros), the building of the Town Hall defines, alongside with the Archbishop Palace (also designed by Soares), the central axis of a square, in which prevails a strong sense of theatricality. The build of this propriety is written in the councilors books, postures, rulings, incomes and expenses of the town Hall (SMITH, 1968), being the only well documented work of Soares, in Braga. The façade of the Town Hall is close to other Soares’ works, as the Church of Santa Maria de Falperra (Igreja Santa Maria Madalena) or the Palace of Raio (Palácio do Raio), on the importance given to the central part, where the “door-niche-pediment” stands out sided by strong pillars. However, the treatment of these elements is different – more linear and voluptuous, even though the distinctive work pace of this architect is kept.

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