Bom Jesus do Monte

Bom Jesus do Monte is a Portuguese sanctuary in Tenões, outside 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 meters (381 feet). It is an important tourist attraction of Braga.

Bom Jesus
Stairway and church of Bom Jesus do Monte
BragaBomJesusdo MonteViaSacra
"Via Sacra"


Many hilltops in Portugal and other parts of Europe have been sites of religious devotion since antiquity, and it is possible that the Bom Jesus hill was one of these. However, the first indication of a chapel over the hill dates from 1373. This chapel - dedicated to the Holy Cross - was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1629 a pilgrimage church was built dedicated to the Bom Jesus (Good Jesus), with six chapels dedicated to the Passion of Christ.

The present Sanctuary started being built in 1722, under the patronage of the Archbishop of Braga, Rodrigo de Moura Telles. His coat of arms is seen over the gateway, in the beginning of the stairway. Under his direction the first stairway row, with chapels dedicated to the Via Crucis, were completed. Each chapel is decorated with terra cotta sculptures depicting the Passion of Christ. He also sponsored the next segment of stairways, which has a zigzag shape and is dedicated to the Five Senses. Each sense (Sight, Smell, Hearing, Touch, Taste) is represented by a different fountain. At the end of this stairway, a Baroque church was built around 1725 by architect Manuel Pinto Vilalobos.

The works on the first chapels, stairways and church proceeded through the 18th century. In an area behind the church (the Terreiro dos Evangelistas), three octagonal chapels were built in the 1760s with statues depicting episodes that occur after the Crucifixion, like the meeting of Jesus with Mary Magdalene. The exterior design of the beautiful chapels is attributed to renowned Braga architect André Soares. Around these chapels there are four Baroque fountains with statues of the Evangelists, also dating from the 1760s.

Façade of the church of Bom Jesus

Around 1781, archbishop Gaspar de Bragança decided to complete the ensemble by adding a third segment of stairways and a new church. The third stairway also follows a zigzag pattern and is dedicated to the Three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity, each with its fountain. The old church was demolished and a new one was built following a Neoclassic design by architect Carlos Amarante. This new church, began in 1784, had its interior decorated in the beginning of the 19th century and was consecrated in 1834. The main altarpiece is dedicated to the Crucifixion.

In the 19th century, the area around the church and stairway was expropriated and turned into a park. In 1882, to facilitate the access to the Sanctuary, the water balance Bom Jesus funicular was built linking the city of Braga to the hill. This was the first funicular to be built in the Iberian Peninsula and is still in use.

The Sanctuary has been classified as Property of Public Interest since 1970.[1]


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 (like Lamego) 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.

The new church (built 1784–1834) by Carlos Amarante was one of the first Neoclassic churches of Portugal.

This church was elevated to a Minor Basilica status on 5 July 2015 by Pope Francis [2]


  1. ^ "Santuário do Bom Jesus do Monte". (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 2018-03-26. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  2. ^ Lobão, Pedro. "Bom Jesus elevado a Basilica". A Bola.

External links

Coordinates: 41°33′17″N 8°22′39″W / 41.5546°N 8.3775°W

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Baltasar Leite Rebelo de Sousa, GCIH (April 16, 1921 in Lisbon, Santos o Velho – December 1, 2001 in Lisbon) was a Portuguese politician and a former minister and member of parliament and medicine professor.

Bom Jesus do Monte Funicular

The Bom Jesus do Monte Funicular (Portuguese: Elevador do Bom Jesus do Monte), is a Portuguese funicular transport in civil parish of Nogueiró e Tenões, in the municipality of Braga, in the district of the same name. Operated by the Irmandade de Bom Jesus do Monte the funicular connects the upper-town of Braga with the Shrine on which it gets its name, over a distance that parallels the Escadaria de Bom Jesus (Bom Jesus staircase) to the highest point at the statue of Saint Longinus.


Braga (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈbɾaɣɐ] (listen); Proto-Celtic: *Bracara) is a city and a municipality in the northwestern Portuguese district of Braga, in the historical and cultural Minho Province. The city has a resident population of 192,494 inhabitants (in 2011), representing the seventh largest municipality in Portugal (by population). Its area is 183.40 km². Its agglomerated urban area extends from the Cávado River to the Este River. It is the third-largest urban centre in Portugal (after Lisbon and Porto)

The city was the European Youth Capital in 2012.It is host to the oldest Portuguese archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church and it is the seat of the Primate Archbishop of Portugal and of the Hispanias (sharing the last title -"of the Hispanias"- with the Archbishop of Toledo and the Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela). Under the Roman Empire, then known as Bracara Augusta, the settlement was the capital of the province of Gallaecia. Inside of the city there is also a castle tower that can be visited. Nowadays, Braga is a major hub for inland Northern Portugal.

Carlos Amarante

Carlos Luís Ferreira da Cruz Amarante (Braga, 1748 - Oporto, 1815) was an important Portuguese engineer and architect.

Amarante's father was musician in the court of the Bishop of Braga. He began pursuing an ecclesiastical career, but left the seminary when he was 23 years old to marry Luísa Clara Xavier. After that he pursued a career in engineering and architecture.

Artistically, Amarante led the transition between the late Baroque-Rococo architecture of northern Portugal to modern Neoclassical architecture. He was particularly influenced by the many Neoclassical buildings of English inspiration that were built in Oporto during the 18th century. The church of the sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, built after 1784 to a design by Amarante, is considered one of the first Portuguese churches in Neoclassical style.

Amarante is buried in the Trindade Church in Oporto.

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Catholic Church in Portugal

The Catholic Church in Portugal is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. The Catholic Church is the world's largest Christian organisation. It is Portugal's largest religion and its former state religion, and has existed in the territory since the Iberian Peninsula was ruled by the Roman Empire.

There are an estimated nine million baptised Catholics in Portugal (84% of the population) in twenty dioceses, served by 2789 priests. Although a large number wish to be baptized, married in the church, and receive last rites, only 19% of the national population attend Mass and take the sacraments regularly.

In 2010, the average age of priests was 62. In 2012 88% of the Portuguese population considered themselves culturally Catholic in a commissioned survey of religious attitudes sponsored by a Christian organization.

Holy Week in Braga

The Holy Week in Braga is the most imposing, attractive and famous among all in Portugal, and the most important tourist and religious event in the city of Braga. It is estimated that about 100.000 people attend the major processions. It combines harmoniously elements of the liturgy and of popular piety, ancient traditions and innovation. Since November 2011, this event is officially “Declared of Interest to Tourism”.

List of World Heritage sites in Portugal

The UNESCO World Heritage sites are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. Portugal adopted the convention on 30 September 1980, making its historical sites eligible for inclusion on the list.Sites in Portugal were first inscribed on the list at the 7th Session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Florence, Italy, in 1983. Four sites were added: the "Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroísmo in the Azores", the "Monastery of Batalha", the "Convent of Christ in Tomar", and the joint inscription of the "Monastery of the Hieronymites and the Tower of Belém in Lisbon". As of 2018, Portugal has 15 sites inscribed on the list, 14 of which are cultural and one is natural, according to the selection criteria. Three sites are located in the Azores and Madeira archipelagos, while one is shared with Spain. The most recent inscription is the University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia site in Coimbra, during the 37th Session in Phnom Penh.

List of churches in Portugal

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List of funicular railways

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List of gravity hills

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A gravity hill is a place where a slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope due to the layout of the surrounding land, creating the optical illusion that water flows uphill or that a car left out of gear will roll uphill. Many of these sites have no specific name and are often called just "Gravity Hill", "Magnetic Hill", "Magic Road" or something similar.


Longinus is the name given to the unnamed Roman soldier who pierced Jesus in his side with a lance and who in medieval and some modern Christian traditions is described as a convert to Christianity. It first appeared in the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus. The lance is called in Christianity the "Holy Lance" (lancea) and his story is related in the Latin Vulgate Bible during the Crucifixion. This act is said to have created the last of the Five Holy Wounds of Christ.

This individual, unnamed in the Gospels, is further identified in some versions of the legend as the centurion present at the Crucifixion, who said that Jesus was the son of God. Longinus' legend grew over the years to the point that he was said to have converted to Christianity after the Crucifixion, and he is traditionally venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and several other Christian communions.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

Marcelo Nuno Duarte Rebelo de Sousa (Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐɾˈsɛlu ˈnunu ˈdwaɾtɨ ʁɨˈbelu dɨ ˈsozɐ]), ComSE, GCIH (born 12 December 1948) is a Portuguese academic, journalist, and politician, currently serving as the 20th and current President of Portugal, since 9 March 2016. A member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Rebelo de Sousa has served as a government minister, parliamentarian in the Assembly of the Portuguese Republic, legal scholar, journalist, political analyst and pundit, gaining him nationwide recognition prior to his election.

Nogueiró e Tenões

Nogueiró e Tenões is a civil parish in the municipality of Braga, in the Portuguese district of the same name. It was formed in 2013 by the merger of the former parishes Nogueiró and Tenões. The population in 2011 was 5,129, in an area of 4.43 km².

Organ Festival of Braga

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Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Goa

The Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church (Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Imaculada Conceição) is located in Panjim, Goa, India. The Church conducts mass every day in English, Konkani, and Portuguese.The colonial Portuguese Baroque style church was first built in 1541 as a chapel on a hill side overlooking the city of Panjim. It was eventually replaced by a larger church in the 1600s as part of Portuguese Goa's religious expansion. This church houses the ancient bell that was removed from the Augustinian ruins of the Church of Our Lady of Grace (Nossa Senhora da Graça) in the once famed city of Old Goa. This bell is considered to be the second largest of its kind in Goa, surpassed only by the Golden Bell which resides in the Sé Cathedral in Old Goa.

Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard

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Timeline of Braga

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Braga, Portugal.

Religious Buildings in Braga
Cathedrals Monasteries and Sanctuaries

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