Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga
Religious Building in Braga
The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga is situated on the slopes of Mount Espinho in northern Portugal, providing a panoramic view of the city of Braga. It is designed to resemble Christian Jerusalem, featuring a sacred mountain crowned with a church. Over a period of more than six centuries, the sanctuary was developed primarily in the Baroque style, reflecting the European tradition of creating Sacri Monti, or sacred mountains. This was a practice promoted by the Catholic Church in response to the Protestant Reformation, as decided at the Council of Trent in the 16th century.
The Bom Jesus ensemble is centred around a Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross, which ascends the western slope of the mountain. The Via Crucis comprises a series of chapels that contain sculptures representing the Passion of Christ, as well as fountains, allegorical sculptures, and formal gardens. The ascent culminates at the church, which was constructed between 1784 and 1811. The granite buildings are adorned with whitewashed plaster facades, framed by exposed stonework. The most iconic Baroque feature of the property is the celebrated Stairway of the Five Senses, which boasts walls, steps, fountains, statues, and other decorative elements. The entire complex is set amidst verdant woodland and a picturesque park that is carefully arranged on the rugged hill, making a significant contribution to the landscape value of the ensemble.
You can climb the 580 steps (pilgrims sometimes do this on their knees) or ascend by funicular (one-way/return €1.20/2).
How to get to the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga
The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus is less than 5 km from the historic center of Braga, but buses run this route in twenty minutes. To do this, you must go to the Liberdade (25th Abril) stop on Avenida da Liberdade, take line 2 of the TUB (Urban Transports of Braga), and get off at the last stop (Bom Jesus). If you’re traveling by car, there’s a free car park at the foot of Mount Espinho.
The best time to visit the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus
For optimal enjoyment of the dramatic landscape and panoramic views, it is recommended to visit the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte near Braga, Portugal on a clear day. The location and architecture of the sanctuary are designed to highlight the natural beauty of the surroundings, making good weather an important factor for an ideal visit.
How much does it cost to visit Bom Jesus do Monte?
You don’t need to buy a ticket to visit the sanctuary, so you can freely roam the gardens, see the viewpoints, walk on the stairway, and visit the church.
Visiting Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga
Church: Summer 8 AM – 7 PM, Winter 9 AM – 6 PM.