|To reach the Bom Jesus Sanctuary, you can go by foot, car or even take the vertical tram, an impressive piece of 19th century engineering. This was the first of its kind to be installed in Portugal in 1882 and continues to use its water-powered system to power up the 300-metre slope in just 3 minutes.
The church was built later (1784) by Carlos Amarante who gave it an Italian inspired neo-classical design, which integrates harmoniously the landscape of northern Portugal.
The stairway leading to the top contains 17 landings adorned with symbolic fountains, allegoric statues and other Baroque style decoration along themes such as the Stations of the Cross, the Five Senses, the Virtues, Moses receiving the Commandments and, at the top, the eight biblical figures that contributed to the Condemnation of Jesus. Any visit must take in the view from the bottom of the Stairway. Looking upwards there are the ornate granite fountains on the various landings and the white, chalice-shaped outline on which the church itself "sits".
Inside the roomy, sombre church attention goes to the paintings by Pedro Alexandrino (18th century). Next to the Church, there is the Museum of Confraria with its collection of religious pieces and its Library founded in 1918.