Bom Jesus do Monte: From Sanctuary to the Dynamics of Religious Tourism

Eduardo Gonçalves, Varico Pereira


With regard to the study of a place of worship and symbolism – Bom Jesus do Monte (Braga, Portugal) or Good Jesus of the Mount, in English, part of the category of “sacri monti” – we intend to investigate the evolution of the ancient practices of pilgrimage that are today assimilated into a context of modern religious tourism. With religious heritage believed to be the apex of the religious tourism product and structure, our study discusses all the other tangible and intangible factors that develop around it. As well as its inherently spiritual characteristics, the site’s religious heritage includes architectural, artistic, historical, symbolic and scenic elements that make it an important tourist resource for the region. The study also deals with the evolution of visitors’ motivations which involve, at Bom Jesus, a seasonal desire for purification in the sense of breaking away from urban routine; visitors view it as a resort or a place for entertainment. In its current state as a holiday destination with accommodation, Bom Jesus do Monte clearly reflects a tourism and hotel business setting that this article aims to present by following a historical narrative over time.


Pilgrimage Sites; Religious Tourism; Tourist Destinations; Resorts; History of the Hotel Business

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