Bom Jesus do Monte or, Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte as it’s also called is a catholic shrine in northern Portugal. In 2019, it was declared a World Heritage site and it is the most popular tourist attraction in Braga. And, the funicular is also very special. Join us as we visit this beautiful place.
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Bom Jesus do Monte – A popular pilgrimage site
If you do the pilgrimage walk here, you’ll come to Bom Jesus do Monte from the bottom and take the awesome-looking stairs to the top. That will take you 116 meters up. However, we came here by bus so we ended up getting off at the top and did the walk in reverse instead. And, if you ask us – either way is just as good and you will enjoy this place tremendously.
Yes, there is something special about visiting a place that dates back all the way to 1373. The chapel as you see it today goes back to the 15th and 16th centuries when it was dedicated to the Good Jesus (the name Bom Jesus). There are also several different chapels and the whole place is transformed into a park and a place where you want to walk around. Best of all – it’s free of charge to enter here. If you have more time then the city center of Braga has a couple of things to explore. Read the Braga city guide. While being in northern Portugal, also check out the Peneda-Geres national park.
The Zigzaging Stairs
The stairs that lead up to the chapel are zigzagging and, they are dedicated to the five senses. Each sense has a fountain dedicated to it. This is information that we didn’t have while visiting Bom Jesus do Monte so we didn’t pay too much attention to the different fountains in the stairs. However, there was one that we did notice. I believe that it was the one dedicated to sight. And, it was pretty creepy if you ask us.
A fountain with water pouring out of the eyes of the statue. Yes, it was just as creepy as it sounds. At the same time, it’s somewhat fascinating. We enjoyed walking down the stairs, looking at the different things that are placed around here. If you don’t want to walk the stairs (up or down), there’s another option for you. The option is to take the funicular instead.
The Funicular at Bom Jesus do Monte
Not only is this the first funicular built in the Iberian Peninsula, but it’s also still in use today. But, there’s something even more special about this… This funicular is water-balanced. And, this is something special since most funiculars aren’t made this way. The water balances the funicular and makes it go up and down with the weight of the water. I was sure that it would look awesome once I saw it.
No, it doesn’t look more awesome than the fact that it’s a funicular. You can’t really see the water here so you have to trust the construction. The funicular is not expensive to take and it goes up and down the hill several times a day. We didn’t go by funicular since we took the bus up here and walked all the way down. However, I think this is a great option for people that want an easy way up or down. And if you like different ways of getting down – check out the coolest toboggan.
Bom Jesus do Monte is worth visiting
So, to sum it up… We enjoy visiting UNESCO sites and this is not an exception. There is always something special about coming to a place that has such rich history. Bom Jesus do Monte is no exception. We had a great time, walking around and taking in the whole scenery. We got lucky since the place wasn’t crowded during our visit. There are a lot of nice churches in the world and Bom Jesus do Monte is not the nicest one we have seen.
At the same time, the stairs up to the sanctuary made up for the church and chapel. Zigzagging up and down the stairs to see the different things to explore along the way. And while being here, make sure to visit the city of Braga too. It’s a nice town in northern Portugal that you don’t want to miss.
Information about Bom Jesus do Monte
Address: Estrada do Bom Jesus, Tenoes, Portugal.
Opening hours: Daily 08.00 – 19.00. During the winter they close at 18.00.
Entrance fee: Free of charge.