Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga

Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte Braga

Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte Braga

The Sanctuary of Bon Jesús do Monte is located on the outskirts of Tenoes, on the top of a hill near Braga. The Bon Jesús do Monte Sanctuary is a popular place for pilgrims who begin their ascent to the Bon Jesús do Monte Sanctuary by a 116 m long monumental zigzag baroque staircase.

The first mention of the chapel on this summit dates back to 1373. In the 15th and 16th centuries, reconstruction work was carried out in the Chapel of the Holy Cross and in 1629, the pilgrimage church of the Good Jesus with six chapels of the Passion of Christ was built.

The construction of the Sanctuary of Bon Jesús do Monte, which can be seen today, began in 1722 under the supervision of Archbishop Braga Rodrigo de Mura Telles. His coat of arms is visible above the gate at the very beginning of the stairs. Under his direction, the first flight of stairs with chapels was completed. Each chapel is decorated with terracotta sculptures representing the Passion of Christ.

Archbishop Braga also contributed to the construction of the second zigzag stage of the staircase, on which are installed fountains with figures symbolizing the five senses: vision, hearing, smell, touch and taste.

At the end of the second stage is a baroque chapel built in 1725 by the architect Manuel Pinto Vilalobos. In 1760, three octagonal chapels with sculptures inside were built behind the church, which reflect episodes after Christ’s crucifixion. For example, Jesus’ encounter with Mary Magdalene. Around these chapels are four baroque fountains decorated with statues representing the evangelicals Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

In 1781, Bishop Gaspar built a third staircase and a church. The third stage, also in a zigzag, is devoted to the three biblical virtues: Faith, Hope and Love, whose sculptural images adorn the fountains.

On the square of the old church a new neoclassical church has been built.

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