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This stunning location in Braga, Portugal is one of the most photographed sanctuaries in the world. The Igreja de Bom Jesus de Monte was built in 1922, best known for the carved wall fountains and stunning staircase. The sanctuary means “Good Jesus of the Mountain” in Portuguese. This site is an extremely popular tourist destination, as well as a wonderful example of a pilgrimage site because of the Baroque stair case that reaches 381 feet tall. The present day sanctuary began its construction in 1722 under the patronage of Archbishop Rodrigo de Moura Telles. 1629 marked the first church being built for the original pilgrimage, and was dedicated to the good Jesus. Six chapels were built, dedicated to the Passion of the Christ. These chapels were complete in 1722. Every rendition to this sanctuary is known for the new and unique granite and plaster composed wall fountains, as chapel are dedicated to various aspects of the faith.

The Famous Wall Fountains of the Sanctuary
The Archbishop also sponsored the construction for the next stairway segment, to be constructed in the zig-zag pattern as the original stairway did. This was dedicated to the five senses. Each of the five senses id represented by a wall fountain that runs along the length of the hall. The Baroque style church that stands at the end of the hall was built by architect Manuel Pinto in 1725. Decorating the steps of the sanctuary are many decorative wall fountains and ornately carved figurines. There are four elaborate Baroque Wall fountains, with a figure dedicated to one of the Evangelists, in the courtyards surrounding the chapels. The third portion of the staircase was added in 1781, under Archbishop Gaspar de Braganca, as well as an entire new church. This third section also features the zig-zag design, and has its own wall fountains as well, that are dedicated to the Three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity. These wall fountains, as with the others, are a combination of granite and plaster and are surrounded with lush vegetation.

The Sanctuary and the Staircase
The fountains create a stunning feature for the sanctuary, as they are scattered throughout, as well as the chapels, but the staircase is a dramatic feature for the sanctuary. This alluring and inviting stairway reaches 381 feet tall, with 14 different stations that represent the 14 stages of the Cross. The idea was to contrast the virtues of the spirit with the material world and its senses. This sanctuary served as the temple of God. The wall fountains decorating the length of the stairway represent the idea of purification for those that are faithful.