As Ruy d'Andrade pointed out as early as , the Portuguese first used the term 'zebra' in Africa, to define a wild animal of the horse family. The fact that the Portuguese named the African wild horse species "zebra" is a really strong indication for "zebro" or "zebra", various spellings did occur to have been the Portuguese term for a wild horse. That the area which recently became a Sorraia Refuge is one known as Vale de Zebro since medieval times is actually the icing on the cake!
In a different paragraph the worth of a dead zevro is given as 50 soldos, 30 for the hide and 20 for the meat. Not only that, but what he found clearly shows that the term did indeed apply to a wild equid—obviously the animal that Ruy d'Andrade tried to rescue, and which he named "Sorraia horse"! The Spanish term for the zebro was "cebro", "encebro", or "encebra", and was in use in Spain up to the XVI century. Some Spanish town and field names still bear the word Encebro, Cebro, or Encebra, such as Encebras villages in Cuenca, Alicante and Granada , Cebreros a village in Avila , or the Cebreiro a mountain pass in Galicia —and these are just a few examples.
Evidently, the equid zebro, encebro, or encebra has been mentioned by different Spanish sources from the XIV to the XVI century in an area covering at least South, Central and Eastern Spain that is where encebro-related field names are found.
This book describes, often tediously, the best places for hunting within the domains of this king. It concentrates mainly on bear and boar, but says in one of the chapters about the medieval wildlife of Cartagena in Murcia, southeastern Spain that "encebras" lived there.
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This Sorraia has good leg stripes, better than most do nowadays. Is the gradual disappearing of the stripes due to the severe inbreeding? The "Arte Cisoria", written by a Valencian called E. In the medieval tale "Romance del Rey Marsin" one of the verses says, "There goes King Marsin, a knight riding on a zebra, for lack of a riding horse".
In the kingdom of Aragon it was better known as Zebra or Encebra. Medieval chronicles describe the zebro as a domestic ass-like animal, but taller, stronger and sturdier, besides being very fast and ill-tempered.
The coat was greyish "rat coat" is the term commonly used in medieval descriptions , interrupted by a black stripe along the back. It seems the nose was also black, and it had stripes on the legs. They lived in herds that preferred to wander on the plains, but withdrew to the mountain regions due to hunting and pressure from domestic stock. Around the end of the XV century and the beginning of the XVI century, the zebro disappears from the hunting chronicles, probably due to its extinction. However, there are isolated mentionings in later writings.
The zebro's identity has been debated for a long time. At first it was thought they were simply feral asses of the North African species Equus asinus atlanticus, introduced a bit before the Roman conquest. But several aspects did not fit: their wild and unruly behaviour, their greater size and the fact that they were whinnying like horses.
The city of Bracara Augusta developed greatly during the 1st century and reached its maximum extension around the 2nd century. Towards the end of the 3rd century, the Emperor Diocletian promoted the city to the status of capital of the administrative area Conventus bracarensis , the southwestern area of the newly founded Roman province of Gallaecia.
In , the Suebi established a Kingdom in northwest Iberia covering what is present-day's Northern half of Portugal,  Galicia and Asturias, which they maintained as Gallaecia , and had Bracara as their capital. This kingdom was founded by Hermeric and lasted for over years.
By about , the Visigoths took over control of Gallaecia from the Suebi. They renounced the Arian and Priscillianist heresies during two synods held here in the 6th century. As a consequence, the archbishops of Braga later claimed the title of Primate of Portugal , then a county, and for a long period, claimed supremacy over the entire Hispanic church.
Yet, their authority was never accepted throughout Hispania.
Braga had an important role in the Christianization of the Iberian Peninsula. The first known bishop of Braga, Paternus , lived at the end of the 4th century, although Saint Ovidius d. In the early 5th century, Paulus Orosius a friend of Augustine of Hippo wrote several theological works that expounded the Christian faith, while in the 6th century Bishop Martin of Braga converted the originally pagan Suebi and Visigoths from Arianism to Catholicism.
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At the time, Martin also founded an important monastery in Dumio Dume , and it was in Braga that Archbishopric of Braga held their councils. The transition from Visigothic reigns to the Muslim conquest of Iberia was very obscure, representing a period of decline for the city.
As a consequence, the bishopric was restored in the first new bishop, Pedro Peter , started rebuilding the Cathedral which was modified many times during the following centuries. Between and , Braga became the residential seat of the Portuguese court. In the early 12th century, Count Henry of Portugal and bishop Geraldo de Moissac reclaimed the archbishopric seat for Braga, with power over a large area in Iberia. The medieval city developed around the cathedral, with the maximum authority in the city retained by the archbishop. Afonso I Henriques.
The following centuries marked a slow decline in its prestige and influence marked by the infamous theft of Holy Relics including those of Saint Martin of Dume by the then Archbishop of Santiago of Compostela Gelmirez. The relics only returned to Braga in the s. Yet, Archbishop Diogo de Sousa, who sponsored several urban improvements in the city, including the enlargement of streets, the creation of public squares and the foundation of hospitals and new churches managed to modernize the community.
He expanded and remodelled the cathedral by adding a new chapel in the Manueline style, and generally turning the mediaeval town into a Renaissance city. With the invasion of French troops, during the Peninsular Wars the city was relegated, once again, to a provincial status. But, by the second half of that century, with influence from Portuguese immigrants living in Brazil, new money and tastes resulted in improvements to architecture and infrastructures. In the 20th century Braga faced similar periods of growth and decline; demographic and urban pressures, from urban-to-rural migration meant that the city's infrastructures had to be improved in order to satisfy greater demands.
Situated in the heart of Minho , Braga is located in a transitional region between the east and west: between mountains, forests, grand valleys, plains and fields, constructing natural spaces, moulded by human intervention. The topography in the municipality is characterized by irregular valleys, interspersed by mountainous spaces, fed by rivers running in parallel with the principal rivers. To the south and west, the terrain is a mix of mountains, plateaus and medium-size valleys, permitting the passage of the River Este, and giving birth to other confluences including the River Veiga, River Labriosca and various ravines.
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The climate is affected by the Atlantic Ocean which influences westerly winds that are channeled through the region's valleys, transporting large humid air masses. Consequently, the climate tends to be pleasant with clearly defined seasons. Owing to nocturnal cooling, frost usually forms frequently between three and four months of the year about 30 days of frost annually , and annually the region receives 1, millimetres The municipality is densely populated, with approximately inhabitants per square kilometre, equivalente to , residents ; it is one of the more populous territories in Portugal, as well as one of the "younger" markets.
The urban structure includes approximately 70, residences , even as the typical classic representation of family only includes 51, members in the municipality. There is, also, a great number of homes owned by Portuguese residents living overseas who use the homes periodically while in Portugal even as constant and development has attracted new growth in the population. Growth in the population, roughly Administratively, the municipality is divided into 37 civil parishes freguesias : .
The city of Braga proper includes only the following urban civil parishes : [ citation needed ]. There is no formal city government, only municipal government authority, with local administration handled by the individual juntas de freguesia or civil parish councils. The major industries in the municipality are construction, metallurgy and mechanics, software development and web design.
The computer industry is growing rapidly. Access is made by public transit to the city centre roughly 40 minutes or Aerobus 50 minutes. Braga is serviced by both regional and high-speed rail connection to major centres in the region. The region of Braga is scattered with Neolithic, Roman, Medieval and Modernist monuments, buildings and structures attracting tourists. In addition, many of the district's treasures and historical artifacts are housed in several museums that are scattered throughout the city, such as:. The city is the headquarters and main campus for the Universidade do Minho Minho University , a public university founded in In the late s, the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory also opened their international research centre in the city.
The Braga Pedagogical Farm is a farm dealing with animals and agriculture , welcoming extra-curricular activities from schools and visitors. Braga has had considerable success in recent years, winning the Taca de Portugal for the second time in and reaching the Europa League final in which they lost to fellow Portuguese side FC Porto. The Rampa da Falperra, a round of the European Hillclimb Championship , is held every year in the outskirts of the city.
Braga is twinned with: . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.