Medieval Tower



O Museu Pio XII, no âmbito da missão desenvolvida pelo Instituto de História e Arte Cristãs (IHAC), reúne um conjunto de publicações que visa promover a inventariação, estudo e divulgação do espólio do Museu e da Arquidiocese de Braga.

Esta Fundação cultural da Arquidiocese de Braga, apoiada na extensão bracarense da Faculdade de Teologia da Universidade Católica Portuguesa e no Seminário Conciliar de S. Pedro e S. Paulo da Arquidiocese de Braga procura promover a inventariação, recolha, organização, conservação, restauro, estudo e investigação do Arquivo Arquidiocesano de Braga e dos valores artísticos e arqueológicos que são património da Igreja Arquidiocesana de Braga.

Ao mesmo tempo, colabora na conservação, enriquecimento e beneficiação dos Museus Pio XII e Medina.

Desde 2017 o Museu Pio XII tem promovido ainda uma coleção de publicações dedicadas a artistas contemporâneos.



The Pius XII Museum, in the context of the mission developed by the Institute of Christian History and Art (IHAC), brings together a set of publications that aim to promote cataloguing, studying and disseminating the Museum's legacy. This Cultural Foundation of the Archdiocese of Braga, supported in the extension of the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Portugal and the Conciliar Seminary of São Pedro and São Paulo of the Archdiocese of Braga, aims to promote cataloguing, collecting, organising, conserving, restoring, studying and researching the Archdiocesan archive of Braga and the artistic and archaeological values that are a heritage of the Archdiocesan Church of Braga.

At the same time, it collaborates towards conserving, enriching and improving the Pius XII and Medina Museums.

Since 2017, the Pius XII Museum has also promoted a collection of publications dedicated to contemporary artists.

Medieval Tower


Medieval Tower

The Tower of Santiago is one of the Pius XII Museum’s exhibition rooms. With the entrance from the neighbouring Largo de São Paulo, this medieval building was part of the city of Braga’s defence circuit. Modified and reformulated over the centuries, it still has five floors, which have served for some temporary exhibitions held at the Pius XII Museum.

On the third floor, you can visit the oratory dedicated to Our Lady of the Tower, designed by André Soares, as a demonstration of gratefulness for the city being safe from the disastrous effects of the 1755 earthquake in Portugal, which destroyed the city of Lisbon.

On the top floor you can see the bell tower that was installed in 1721, and also make the most of one of the most beautiful panoramic views over the city of Braga, from 40 metres high.

The Tower of Santiago is one of the remaining buildings from the medieval citadel that was renovated by order of King D. Fernando from the year 1369. It owes its name to its location, a few metres away from the parish of Santiago da Cividade, established in the thirteenth century. At the time, the tower didn’t simply serve as a watch tower, it was also, in itself, one of the doors of the wall, by which people entered inside the tower (L shape), as it happens, for example, in many of the entrances to the city of Óbidos.

Restored in 2002

Even today, it is still possible to see some of the doors in the tower, as well as the original flooring, somewhat elevated in comparison to the current street level.

The tower, integrated after 1560 into the São Paulo School, was made taller in order to add bells and a clock. Later on, in 1721, it was renovated, the bell tower being built on the north face and the door moved to the side of the tower.

The oratory of Our Lady of the Tower had to be built into the current shape. Between 1879 and 1927 the city council tried, on several occasions, to have it demolished. In 2002, after the renovation of the Pius XII Museum, it was thoroughly restored.