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Lake, Woods and Picnic Park

Lake, Garden

and Picnic Park

The fence or bush of Bom Jesus mountain hill, very romantic and very frond, has always been a refuge for lovers of this place.

The visitor, in this picturesque and paradisiac place, enlightened to the spirit, can enjoy multiple reasons that invite to rest and meditation: the diversity and rarity of the species of trees; the vegetation that swirls (heather, moss, herbs); the pleasant retreats; the dense forest; rustic hedges; the caves; the water breaking everywhere in catadupas; the springs that gush; the streets, paths and paths; the gazebos on cliffs; the kiosks; the belvederes; the rustic bridges; plant nurseries; the streams of water that flutter or jump noisily among the fragas; the lakes slenderly carved with their rowboats; the high slopes covered with trees, shrubs and flowers.

Water is a primordial element of human development and is a fountain of life. In Bom Jesus mountain hill, the water flowing from the fountains is considered, as St. João says «Flumina de ventre eius fluent aquae vivae».

The different motifs of the forest, the lake, the kiosks, the bridges, the arches, the caves, denote the true influence of France, where the French books in the library are not strange, namely Guide Pratique du Tracé et de l’Ornementation des Jardins d’agrément, par Théodore Bonn, 4th ed., Paris, Eugène Lacroix éditeur, with 238 figures, where many details are found in the woods.

On January 27, 1806, the state will offer to the sanctuary the vacant lots that surrounded the ranch. From the year 1877, a commission headed by António Brandão Pereira will draw up a first plan for the construction of a park and a lake. The plan of streets and paths was traced, trees (cedars, oaks, and cork oaks), shrubs and camellias were planted.

Hence the existence of the lake, enlarged in 1908, thanks to the commitment and interest of Bernardo Sequeira, extending southwards along cliffs from which flows the water to the lake.

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Throughout the park, and in the shade of old and leafy trees, we find tables and benches for picnics, something that can not be despised after a walk.

The Bom Jesus mountain hill presents an elaborate layout of its external spaces (clearly traced routes, viewpoints, gardens, fence, and churchyard); the constructed spaces are delimited by formal gardens and, in the later plane, by forest, zone of the escadórios, or simply by forest and other areas.

The trees that make it up, especially around the built area and the park above the sanctuary, were mostly introduced for their visual value. Still in relation to the forest is to mention its pre-existence, relative to the sanctuary.

From the Portico to the Water-Mother, poetry loosens itself, hovers in the air, emerges from every mysterious retreat, in the late enclosure, in painful martyrdom, in every song of love, in the romance of the wood, in the balance of foliage, in the natural and edified heritage, in the carpets of greenery, in the murmurings of the fountains, in the piety of the devotees. It is a place of spirituality and poetry. Everything motivates us for inspiration.

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The Bom Jesus do Monte, an unavoidable reference.