ICNF 2017 - 3rd International Conference on Natural Fibers
20th June- 17:30 - Welcome Cocktail - Rectorate of the University of Minho - FREE
21st June- 18:00 - "Bom Jesus" Sanctuary Tour & Sunset
22nd June- 20:00 - Conference Dinner - Place to be annouced
23rd June - 14:30 - City Tour & St. John Street Festival
Braga is the 3rd biggest city of Portugal. Braga has one of the youngest populations in Europe (it was proclaimed to be the European city with the youngest residents in 1989), which makes the city dynamic and energetic. In the past 30 years the District of Braga increased in population by 25 per cent.
Braga has a lot to offer, both in terms of culture and entertainment: its night life, cinemas, theatre, exhibitions, museums and art galleries are exceptional. It is a city vibrant with culture and tradition, where history and religion go hand in hand with technology, industry and university life.
Braga is one of the oldest Portuguese cities and one of the oldest Christian cities in the world. It was founded in the Roman times as Bracara Augusta and boasts more than 2,000 years of history as a city. Situated in the North of Portugal, in the Cávado Valley (Vale do Cávado), Braga has a population of about 174,000 inhabitants. It is the centre of the Great Metropolitan Area of Minho (GAM - Grande Área Metropolitana do Minho) with a population of around 800,000 inhabitants.
Braga was Portugal's first city; when Portugal was founded there was only one city on the whole of its territory and that was Braga. The remains of ancient settlements in Braga are thousands of years old and are proven to date back to the Bronze Age. The history of Braga can be divided into three parts: Prehistory, Bracara Augusta and Braga.
Braga hauls more than 2,000 years of history to its recent election as European Youth Capital in 2012 as a mark of its everlasting culture and renovating energy.
St. John festivities
The first St. John festivities commission was established in 1883, in Braga. 132 years have gone by, and the festivities, honouring the city’s patron saint, never skipped a year to this day, only varying in it’s duration. There were years, like 1944, when the festivities only lasted 3 days, but many more were those, in which the festivities lasted for days on end. Curiously, 2015 was the year that St. John the Baptist was celebrated the longest. Eleven days, in total, of partying, exhibits, concerts, good local food and religious ceremonies honouring the saint.
Although Braga’s St. John is celebrated since 1883, the graphical exhibit that highlighted all the festivities’ posters to this day, was not able to gather all the images that were produced. The first poster was by The Public Library of Braga, with the help of other citizens, and it’s from 1889, which dictated the exhibit’s theme.
Hot air balloons, basil, fireworks and their catherine wheels, traditional musical instruments (like the cavaquinho and the concertina) and philharmonic bands are all part of the event’s iconography. The highlight goes to the “zés-pereira” (traditional percussion group) and their bass drums, as well as the carnation, an ancestral symbol of the St. John festivities and the city of Braga, long before it was adopted as a political symbol.
University of Minho
The University of Minho, located in Braga, is currently among the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the country of Portugal, and it has also gradually come to assert itself on the international scene.
The University is structured upon a matrix-based organisational model, which promotes interaction among its units, with a view to completing the projects that embody its mission and objectives while ensuring efficient use of its resources.
At present, the University has 32 research centers funded by Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology, three of which are integrated into Associated State Laboratories.
For more information: https://www.uminho.pt/EN
Bom Jesus Sanctuary
Mandatory reference to the European Baroque, which also evidences the very own evolution of the Braga art, the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary is considered to be the greatest tourist-religious highlight of the town and also of the Braga region.
The Sanctuary origins date back to the 14th century, combining in this place nature and the art of André Soares and Colonel Vila-Lobos, a true highlight in the Archbishops town.
The zigzag stairways with a chapel on each side and the Church in the top of the stairs are the symbols of this beautiful Sanctuary.