Bom Jesus do Monte needs guides to decipher eighteenth century symbols

The professor of the University of Coimbra Rogério de Sousa said yesterday that «to detect the symbolic elements introduced in the complex of Bom Jesus do Monte by D. Rodrigo de Moura Teles (Archbishop of Braga from 1704 to 1728) a guide is necessary».

The researcher, who gave a lecture at the Hotel do Elevador auditorium, “The eighteenth-century complex of Bom Jesus do Monte – reorganization and symbolic plan,” warned that,«at first sight, it is not easy [to identify these elements] because the success that the complex had with the structure designed by the prelate of Braga was such that it forced an expansion in the late eighteenth century».

«The last phase of construction took into account the symbolic structure and the narrative constructed by D. Rodrigo de Moura Teles. However, it is also true that most of the original elements were lost»,lamented the expert on the sidelines of the conference cycle resumed yesterday after the summer vacation.

«Today the complex is shaped by the neoclassical remodeling. Only with a more in-depth investigation can one perceive what is original and what has been replaced», said Rogério de Sousa to Diário do Minho.

For the historian, it is important «to study the reconstruction of the original complex of D. Rodrigo Moura Teles, which today is difficult to distinguish due to the destruction concretized during the XIX century», and «try to understand the symbolic that the prelate devised, which involves the conception of the monument as a via-sacra, where they pontificate the sources, the mythological and alchemical symbols».

The monumental architectural and devotional itinerary «had an important function framed in the symbolic of the Passion».

This view, rarely mentioned, was deepened yesterday by the researcher, who contextualized the analysis: it is about «a post-Restoration period and an archbishop from the aristocracy, animated by utopian ideals of restoration that transcend the political aspect, which has to do with the renewal of the world».


Diário do Minho