The current temple replaces the former, designed by D. Rodrigo de Moura Teles, demolished in 1788. This bracarense prelate contributed to the aggrandizement of the place, costing a new church, according to a project of the architect Manuel Pinto de Vilalobos, which was located in the Pelicano.
This small, elegant and circular temple of Italian style, Renaissance, of perfect architecture, was an ellipsoidal construction, of rounded form, with eight protruding pilasters in buttress. The temple works were given as completed in 1725. Under the cornice, a tall and lacy porch of stone, with 8 angels of great stature resting on the sill. The Carlos Amarante map (without the last rung of the staircase, with the D. Rodrigo temple supported with canopies) helps locate the respective Church, between the Stairs of Virtues and the source of the Pelican, in a line of evolution of baroque architecture, with the abandonment of the Latin cross plants and the adoption of circular or elitist plans, denouncing the 18 structure of the sanctuary. Carlos Amarante, in the legend of the map, describes the temple of Don Rodrigo: «It is ruined and without remedy. In the main chapel there is the Calvary, and in it the Crucified Bom Jesus, Maria Most Holy, Cross, the Evangelist, the Marias, Longuinhos, several soldiers and two in the tunic, on a collateral altar, besides many precious relics, set in half bodies, is the cross of the Holy Wood and the organized body of martyr S. Clement ».
The current sanctuary, by the great architect Carlos Amarante, is a significant example and one of the first buildings of the Portuguese neoclassical.
The first stone was laid on June 1, 1784, at the time of the pontificate of Archbishop D. Gaspar de Bragança, due to the goodwill of Pedro José da Silva, who placed the last stone of the temple on September 20, 1811. But whose consecration would be reserved for August 10, 1857. The site was chosen by Archbishop D. Gaspar de Bragança, behind the old church and in a plane immediately above. In the confraternity’s sitting on July 1, 1781, the reasons for the construction of the new Church are clearly indicated: because the previous chapel promised little duration; the walls could not stand the vault; all the pilgrims who come to the sanctuary because of the jubilee do not fit; does not offer the people who come to that sanctuary the sight and is uncomfortable to the pilgrims.
The facade, of singular architecture, is characterized by the sober lines, by smooth surfaces, where the classicism of the friezes and frames extend in the lateral bodies, a little indented. At the side of the main door are two perfectly round niches, surmounted by triangular fronts, inside which are two monolithic statues of the prophets of the passion Jeremias and Isaias, which were modeled and conceived by Manuel Joaquim Álvares and Sousa Alão (of the masters of São Francisco do Porto). This sculptor is also the author of the statues of the four evangelists on the balcony of the temple facade. The plastered and painted white facade is crossed by stonework, flanked by stacked wedges and topped by double friezes and cornices with pinnacles, in the form of fogars in the transept and lanternim.
– In the main facade three cloths are seen, the three classic orders of the architecture, thus defined: – In the lower register, which goes to the entablature, stands a neoclassical portico with four majestic Tuscan columns, granite, that support a porch and its plinths. In the first body, two windows are broken, on top of which marble tombstones, dedicated by the city of Braga to the architect Carlos Amarante and the one of the right to Pedro José da Silva, great impeller of this work;
– In the next record, in the second body, four elegant windows tear the facade to the height of the balcony, having in the center a large window, with a semicircular flag. Four Ionic pilasters with smooth shafts alternate with the window and the two central windows. In the four columns stands a balustraded balcony, on which the sculptures of the four are Evangelists with their respective symbols, modeled by Manuel Joaquim Alvares de Sousa and executed by José Domingues: S.Marcos with a lion; St. Mateus with an angel; St. Lucas with a bull and St. John with an eagle;
– in the upper register, where the corinthian order prevails, the bell towers appear, slightly recessed, with coverings in bulbous coraves, with high steeples or windows and domes of elegant architecture and baroque cut that opposes the horizontality of the facade. The left tower with a set of bells offered by the benefactor Pedro José da Silva, the right tower with the bells of the D. Rodrigo temple, meanwhile demolished. This third body of the facade finishes in triangular pediment, with denticles in the gable, plain frieze, simple Latin cross on the vertex, evoking the ancestral cult. From the tympanum stand out the symbols of passion, the stairs of the lowering of the cross, in the center a shield with the five wounds, tenazes, whips, ropes, hammer, sword, crown of thorns, palms and the symbol of Rome (SPQR, the Senate and the Roman People).
The royal coat of arms of King John VI, who gave the sanctuary honors and prerogatives of the mercies, and took it under his “Real and Immediate Protection” by the charter of July 29, 1822, for this reason, his portrait in the gallery of the benefactors of the sanctuary.
In the outside and in the main facade of the basilica the inscriptions abound:
– On the left side door: « THE FIRST STONE OF THIS TEMPLE IS LAUNCHED ON JUNE 1, 1784 »;
– On the side wall facing the house of prints: «HOMAGE OF THE CONFRARIA OF GOOD JESUS FROM THE MOUNT TO THE GREAT BENEDICTITH PEDRO JOSÉ DA SILVA, ON THE FIRST CENTENARY OF HIS DEATH, MARCH 17, 1934»;
– On the left wall of the facade, above the lower window: «TO ENGINEER CARLOS LUIZ FERREIRA DA CRUZ AMARANTE, NATURAL OF BRAGA, ARCHITECT D’ES TEMPLO, IN THE 1ST CENTENARY OF ITS BUILDING, THE CITY OF BRAGA» ;
– On the lower window of the tower, a tombstone referring to the first centenary of the temple:
«ANNO DOMINI MDCCCLXXXIV, DIE VERO I JUNI, MAGNO SPLENDIDOQUE APPARATU RELIGIOUS CELEBRATUM EST I FESTUM CENTENARIUM AB HAC ECCLESIA CONDITA, SUB FAUSTIS AUSPICIIS DD ANTONI JOSEPH DE FREITAS HONORATO. ARCHIEPISCOPI AC DOMINATORIS BRACARAE AUGUSTAE, HISPANIARUM PRIMATIS, WHO TOTAL ARCHIDIOECESIS STUDIOSE REVERENTER AC PERAMANTER SEQUITA EST »; «Year of the Lord of 1884, June 1, the feast of the centenary of this Church was celebrated with great and splendid apparatus, under the auspices of António José de Freitas Honorato, Archbishop and Lord of Braga, Primate of the Spaniards: whom the whole Archdiocese diligently and reverently followed with much affection »;
– On the left side of the Coat of Arms of D. João VI: «MONS. IN QUO BENEPLACITUM EST DEO HABITARE IN EO: ETENIM DOMINUS HABITABIT IN FINEM – Psalm. 67.17»; «A mountain on which God is pleased to dwell, for the Lord will dwell in him to the end »;
-On the niche of Jeremias and on the niche of Isaias: «STUDIO, CURA AC DILIGENTIA SERENISSIMI D. GASPAR BRIGANTINI AECHIEPISCOPI ET DOMINATORIS BRACARAE AUGUSTAE, HISPANIARUM PRIMATIS, ERECTUM EST, PAULO SUPERIUS JUXTA VETUS, HOC»; «TEMPLUM QUOD NE EX FUNDAMENTIS QUIDEM SURGERET, NISI MAGNUS ARCHIEPISCOPUS IN AND EXTRUENDO MAGNOPERE ADLABORARET. AD PERPETUAM REI MEMORIAM – M.DCCC.LXXXIV »; «By devotion, care and diligence of the most solemn D. Gaspar de Bragança, Archbishop and Lord of Braga, a little above the old one was erected”; “A temple, which certainly could not have arisen from the root, if it were to be built if the great archbishop had not magnanimously applied it. To perpetual memory of this feat – 1884 ».
– Under the sculpture of Jeremias, in the entablature: «AUDITE VERBUM DOMINI QUI INGREDIMINI PER DOORS HAS UT ADORETIS DOMINUM – JEREM CAP 7 V. »; «I have heard the word of the Lord, you who enter through these gates to worship the Lord »;
– On the axial portal: «ET ERIT IN NOVISSIMIS DIEBUS PRAEPARATUS MONS DOMUS DOMINI IN VERTICE MONTIUM, ET ELEVABITUR SUPER COLLES, ET FLUENT AD EUM OMNES GENTES – Isai. cap. 22 »; «And in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared upon the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and all the nations shall come unto him. ».
– On the right side of the coat of arms of King João VI: «EXALTATE DOMINUM DEUM NOSTRUM ET ADORATE IN MONTE SANCTO EJUS – Psalm. 98.9 »
The interior of the temple, with a Latin cross plan, is composed of nave in an elegant and well lit crib vault, a little developed transept with chapels in the tops, of polygonal profile, deep chapel and also of polygonal profile and galilés closed, attached to each of the side facades. The nave is torn by 6 rectilinear windows, forming a double clerestory, accessed laterally by the galilés, closed, with straight-cut doors of trimmed frames and trim on friezes and curved cornices, illuminated by two elitist glasses.
The cruise is topped by a dome adorned by the statues of the four doctors of the Church, the work of the sculptor João Albertino Azevedo, and an elegant dome at the intersection of the transept, where two chapels stand out, the Blessed Sacrament and the Relics.
In the chapel of the Relíquias stands the body of Saint Clement, it is a Roman soldier martyred in the third century after Christ.
The list of reliquary busts of the throne of the retarpiece of S. Clemente, from the left to the right in descending order: 1st step of lathe: São João, Evangelist / São Lucas, Evangelist / São Marcos, Evangelist / São Mateus, Evangelist; 2st step and in the same order, Sto. Isidoro de Sevilha / Sto. Anselmo de Cantuária / Sto. Anacleto / São Pio V / São Marcelo / Sto. Ambrósio / Sto. Antonino de Florença; 3st step in the same order, São Vicente Ferrer / São Martinho de Dume / São Basílio / São Joaquim / São Ioannis (Bispo) / São Agostinho de Hipona / São Bernardo de Claraval; 4st step in the same order, Sta. Margarida Cortona / Sta. Cristina de Bolsena / Sta. Luzia de Siracusa / São Francisco de Assis / São Roque de Montpellier / Sta. Rosália de Palermo / Sto. Inácio de Loiola / Sta. Doroteia / Sta. Teresa de Ávila; 5st step in the same order, Sta. Petronilha / Sta. Mónica / Sta. Clara de Assis / Sto. António de Lisboa or de Pádua / Sta. Escolástica / São Boaventura de Bagnoregio / São Jerónimo de Estridão / Sta. Vitória de Roma / Sto. André Avelino / São Francisco de Sales; 6st step in the same order, Sto. António Abade / Santo Antão / São Francisco de Paula / São Lourenço / São Sebastião / São Lourenço / São Domingos de Gusmão / São Pascoal Bailão / São Filipe Neri / Sta. Eufémia de Calcedónia / Sta. Ana / Sta. Inês de Roma; 7st step in the same order, Sta. Bárbara / Sta. Francisca Romana / Sto. Aleixo de Roma (“God man”) / São Tomás de Aquino / Sto. António de Lisboa ou de Pádua / Sto. Alberto de Trápani / São Carlos Borromeu / Sta. Apolónia de Alexandria / São Pedro de Alcântara. The Basilica of Bom Jesus also has two relics of the Lenho Holy, in a reserved place, which were once at the top of the throne of relics chapel.
The transept, at the same height as the nave, is torn at the top by a rectilinear window, having, on a lower plane, the polygonal chapels, with rectilinear spans and ovoid spectacles in each of the cloths, appearing at the top a recess. The transept has mural paintings forming on the red background geometric and phytomorphic elements, and on the pilasters connecting it to the nave, the quadrangular pulpits appear, with a basin of stonework and carved wood carvings with golden elements, having access through the wall through a collapsed arch door. On the side walls there are two niches of perfect round, containing the 4 Doctors of the Church (St. Ambrósio and St. Gregorio the Magnus on the side of the Gospel, and St. Jeronimo and St. Agostinho in the opposite).
We can not fail to observe, on the roof of the vault, the heraldry of the Archbishops of Braga D. Rodrigo de Moura Telles and D. Jorge da Costa, as well as of the Popes Clement XIV and Pius IX. Both the Archbishops and the two Popes played a decisive role for the Bom Jesus we have today. The Archbishops, for the role in the implementation and construction of what was and came to be the Bom Jesus, and the Popes for the concession of spiritual graces to those who visited him.
In the interior of the temple the main altar calls attention, where a calvary mount is erected in the same mold, apparently, of what already existed in the old church of this sanctuary. The image of Christ crucified was ordered to be sculpted in Italy by Archbishop D. Gaspar de Bragança in 1776. In addition to this image, two more images of the “Bom Jesus on the Cross” inside the temple are highlighted, which, through their symbolism and patrimonial value, attract our attention, in the chapel of Bom Jesus (ex-votos) and in the sacristy.
The high altar, built on a single granite stone, represents the scene of Calvary. The risk of the altarpiece of the chancel is by Carlos Amarante and executed by the master carver João Martins Coelho de S. Martinho de Sande.
Both the high altar and the Baroque are covered by a golden canopy, supported by four imposing Ionic columns, with a truss in which the image of the Crucified Christ stands. A canopy, enclosed by damask curtains, protects this image. Two crosses with the good and the bad thief; Our Lady, two Marias and João Evangelista on the right (classifying images); another Maria on the left; Maria Madalena (baroque) prostrate before the cross; the Centurion and eight soldiers scattered across the hill.
Carlos Amarante is also the author of the baldaquino and was executed by the carver José Francisco Moreira Torres, under which Monte Calvário was conceived by Manuel Joaquim Álvares and Sousa Alão, who also provided the models of the figures of Calvary and who were executed by the sculptor José Monteiro da Rocha, thanks to the goodwill of Pedro José da Silva.
The chancel is torn by three rectilinear windows. The altarpiece of this chapel is separated from the cruise by a stone balustrade. The ceilings of the main chapel, as well as the body of the church, are in semicircular vault, divided in parts by arches of masonry. On the walls of the main chapel are two oval-shaped paintings depicting «Christ giving sight to the blind» on the side of the gospel, and the «forgiveness of the adulteress», on the side of the epistle, paintings signed by Peter Alexandrino.
There are also 2 altars on the cruise with 2 screens each: on the side of the epistle «Christ saving Peter from the waters of the sea» and the «sale of Joseph from Egypt»; and on the side of the Gospel «Christ handing over the keys to St. Peter» and the «sacrifice of Isaac», paintings by Peter Alexandrino.
In the central axis of the nave, the iconographic program presents themes from the life of Jesus: expulsion, temptation, the souls of purgatory, the Coronation of Maria.
The one-nave church body has two side altars supported by a long balustrade. On the side of the Gospel, on the altar next to the pulpit, there is a panel depicting: «Jesus Christ Raising the Son of the Widow of Nain» (under this panel is the picture of the “Souls of Purgatory”), and at the altar Next, another panel representing «Jesus Christ converting the Samaritan woman» (under this panel is the picture of “casting Adam and Eve out of Paradise”). On the side of the epistle, as many, one represents «Jesus Christ forgiving the Magdalene» (under this panel is the picture «the coronation of Our Lady») and the other «Jesus Christ to heal the leper» the picture is the «temptation of Adam», also paintings by Peter Alexandrino.
Laterally to the body of the Church run 2 significant spaces. On the left side of the nave is the Bom Jesus chapel (ex-votos), where the image of the Agonizing Lord, in natural size, stands out from the primitive temple located in Pelicano’s terreiro, which was erected by Don Rodrigo, sculpted in Italy, as well as image of the Lady of Sorrows flanked by two archangels. On the right side we find the sacristy surpassed by portraits of its benefactors, among them the bust of the Marquis of Marialva, by Domingos Sequeira, by the Duke of Lafões and by the Bishop of Porto painted by Rocquemont. In the sacristy stands the precious image of Christ crucified, with the invocation of Bom Jesus dos Navegantes. Made in ivory, with four palms and a quarter high, with the cross and peanut of ebony, marquetted with ivory. Ask also, built in India and offered to the Shrine, by the Viceroy of India, military and Colonial Governor Dom Diogo de Sousa. It is enclosed in a showcase-oratory placed on an arcade.
The interior of the temple is served by 2 lateral doors, topped by semicircular pediments, inwhose eardrums the beginning and conclusion of the construction of the temple is remembered. The decision of the congregation of the divine cult and discipline of the sacraments, faculty attributed by the Pontiff Francis, endows the Church of the Bom Jesus, in the parish of Tenões, of the title and dignity of Basilica Minor. The elevation to Basilia took place on July 5, 2015, in a solemn celebration presided over by the Archbishop Primate of Braga Bishop Jorge Ortiga.