Bom Jesus do Monte

The most impressive religious sanctuary in Portugal, Bom Jesus do Monte lies six kilometers east of Braga in a verdant park draped over the western slopes of Monte Espinho. Connecting the entrance portico with the hilltop church of Bom Jesus is the extraordinary 18th-century Baroque Escadaria, a monumental staircase built of granite and interconnected by a series of chapels showing the 14 Stations of the Cross. Wall fountains and statues of biblical figures embellish the stairway's mid-section, while the final stretch, the much-photographed allegorical Staircase of the Three Virtues, is accentuated by zigzagging whitewashed walls. A site of worship for pilgrims from around the world, the shrine at the summit can be reached via the hydraulically operated funicular railway or on foot by climbing the steep stairs. The effort of the climb is rewarded by a spectacular panoramic view.

© S W Ghost 2016