Bom Jesus do Monte – Braga

By : May 11th, 2021 Places and Monuments 0 Comments

The oldest funicular in the world, endless staircases, fountains and baroque statues, surrounded by a mantle of vegetation, make Bom Jesus do Monte (or Bom Jesus de Braga) one of the most popular destinations for people from Braga and visitors.
In 1373, there were signs of activity and construction of a Chapel in Bom Jesus. However, Bom Jesus as we know it today appears in 1722 when, on the initiative of D. Rodrigo de Moura Teles, the project of the current Santuary began, with the construction of the chapels of Via Sacra, Portico, and the steps of the Five Senses. In 1784, with the increasing flow of pilgrims, Archbishop D. Gaspar de Bragança entrusts to Carlos Amarante the task of designing a new basilica, completed in 1811.
Portico Staircase
At the lower end of the Portico staircase there is an arch 7 meters high and 4 meters wide and the staircase meanders through dense vegetation along 376 steps up to the square that precedes the next stairway – the Cinco Sentidos.
The Cinco Sentidos (five senses) staircase starts next to the Fonte das Cinco Chagas or Fonte das Cinco Correntes and from there, in each flight of stairs there is a fountain corresponding to one of the human senses.
Stairway of Virtues

After the allegorical staircase of the sensory system comes the Escadorio das Virtudes. The staircase starts at a square atrium. Here you can find sources alluding to Faith, Hope and Charity

Pelican Square

In Largo do Pelicano we can admire the beautiful baroque garden

Church of Bom Jesus

Here lies a set of statues representative of biblical characters linked to the Passion of Christ: Anas, Caifas, Herod and Pilate on one side and José de Arimateia, Nicodemos and Pilatos.

Way of the Cross

The Way of the Cross is represented throughout the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary with 17 chapels that show various moments linked to the passion of Christ

Funicular (or Bom Jesus Elevator)

A project by Niklaus Riggenbach and was opened in 1882. The only one in the Iberian peninsula and the oldest in the world in activity. A funicular powered by water, by counterweight. Two cabins, both with water tanks, are connected by a cable. When a cabin is at the top, the cabin tank is filled with water (the volume of which depends on the number of passengers), while the cabin cabin at the bottom is emptied. When the driver releases the brakes, the weight difference causes the lower cabin goes up.

This Sanctuary is a World Cultural Heritage from Unesco


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