Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga, Portugal – photo essay
The sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte is located 5km outside the northern Portuguese city of Braga and is a notable pilgrimage site with a monumental, Baroque stairway that measures over 116 metres (381 feet).
The chapel itself, standing on top of the hill, was built in the Baroque style in the 18th century but the real wonders of the site lay in the extraordinary zigzag staircase replete with allegorical fountains and the fabulous views over the city below.
The Bom Jesus funicular, which offers a much easier way to access the sanctuary, was built in 1882 by Niklaus Riggenbach and is the oldest in the Iberian Peninsula. Uniquely, it works by a water counterbalancing system, which loading water into the car at the top of the hill, weighs it down so it descends to the bottom, at the same time drawing the lighter, drained car up the hill, where the process starts afresh.
How to get there?
The bus #2 goes from Braga centre up to the Bom Jesus monastery. The bus stop in town is on the west side of Avenida da Liberdade on the crossroads of Rua do Raio. There’s a bus every half hour or so (less frequent on Sundays) and the trip takes about 20 minutes. Bom Jesus is the last stop, at the foot of the famous staircase.
Geographic coordinates: 41.554582, -8.378109 (click to go to map).
Address: Estrada do Bom Jesus, 4715-261
Opening Times: 7.30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
(Click to enlarge)
Written by: Jon