The Arco da Porta Nova (English: Arch of the New City Gate), is a Baroque and Neoclassical arch, designed by André Soares in the late 18th century, in the civil parish of Sé, municipality of Braga, in northern Portugal. The triumphal arch which decorates the western gate of a medieval wall, was opened in 1512 and traditionally used to present the city's keys to dignitaries and celebrities.


It was King Ferdinand who eventually completed the wall of city of Braga around 1373, a project begun during the reign of his predecessor King Denis, a project that called for a Torre da Porta Nova (Tower of the New City Gate).

In 1512, archbishop Diogo de Sousa ordered the rebuilding of the tower.

As part of its construction (1772-1773), a statue representing the city of Braga is removed from the Edifício das Arcadas and installed on the arch of the new gate in 1772. Followed the following year by the archbishop (Gaspar de Bragança) ordering the transformation of the tower of the Porta Nova, to a triumphal arch in the Baroque style.

The historic arch was used by the municipality, throughout the 20th century, to promotional and marketing campaigns, including the "És de Braga, não fechas as portas" (Your from Braga, do not close your gates) and "Vai abaixo de Braga" (Come under Braga) programs, among others.


It is locked within an urban environment, within one of the city's primary aterial roads, in a transitory space between the Campo das Hortas and Rua D. Diogo de Sousa. Its sits between buildings with three to five storey heights, which are mostly commercial shops on the main floor and residences on the upper floors. In the immediate vicinty is a medieval tower, which now houses the Museu de Imagem, the arch representing the principal entrance to the medieval city.

A double decorative composition on either facete, the arch has a Baroque western façade, and an emergente neoclassic eastern façade, highlighting the many faces of the designerAndré Soares. The western facete, with its interrupted rounded arch façade, is a Baroque arch flanked by four pilasters and crowned by plinths with pyramidal pinnacles. The interrupted curved arch façade is decorated by the coat of arms of archbishop Gaspar of Bragança, above which is the allegorical figure of the city of Braga. The eastern façade, with only two relief pilasters, is surmounted by and image of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré (Our Lady of Nazareth) in a recessed niche.

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator
  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated a digital reference and added a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via