Stairway and church of Bom Jesus do Monte, Portugal




Bom Jesus do Monte is a Portuguese sanctuary in Tenões, surroundings of the city of Braga, in northern Portugal. Its name means Good Jesus of the Mount. The Sanctuary is a notable example of pilgrimage site with a monumental, Baroque stairway that climbs 116 metres (381 feet). It is an important tourist attraction of Braga.

The design of the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus, with its Baroque nature emphasised by the zigzag form of its stairways, influenced many other sites in Portugal and colonial Brazil, like the Sanctuary of Congonhas. As the pilgrims climbed the stairs, (by tradition encouraged to do so on their knees) they encountered a theological programme that contrasted the senses of the material world with the virtues of the spirit, at the same time as they experienced the scenes of the Passion of Christ. The culmination of the effort was the temple of God, the church on the top of the hill. The presence of several fountains along the stairways give the idea of purification of the faithful.


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