Quinta da Regaleira is an estate located near the historic center of Sintra, Portugal. It is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO within the “Cultural Landscape of Sintra”. Along with other palaces in this area (such as the Pena, Monserrate and Seteais palaces), it is one of the principal tourist attractions of Sintra. It consists of a romantic palace and chapel, and a luxurious park featuring lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and a vast array of exquisite constructions. The palace is also known as “Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire”, from the nickname of its first owner, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro.
This is a miracle created by human hands, contains a downward spiral staircase that leads to a variety of outlets. The well was so named because according to rumors, it held initiation rites of Masons. At the bottom of the well is a compass drawn on top of the cross of the Knights Templar.
Initiation pit 30 meters deep, consists of nine levels in 15 steps each. A little about the symbolism of the well, “nine levels symbolize the nine circles of Hell, Purgatory and the nine circles of the nine circles of paradise, described by Dante. At the bottom of the well laid out cross of the Templars in an eight-star emblem Monteiro.”‘
A journey of rebirth and self discovery is the concept behind the Initiation or Initiatic Well at Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra.
The 27 metre deep well, resembles an inverted tower, and depending on the direction you choose, either a journey down into the depths of the earth, or a climb out of the darkness into the light, the journey through the earth is like a rebirth through mother natures womb, from where all things come and where one day all shall return.
This is a miracle created by human hands, contains a downward spiral staircase that leads to a variety of outlets. The well was so named because it is rumored that it held initiation rites of Masons. At the bottom of the well is a compass drawn on top of the cross of the Knights Templar.
There is also a vast ensemble of turrets providing us with breathtaking views, strange recesses – half myth half saudade (missing), palace type residences of superb taste. Reference must be made to the adventures of the Knights of the Temple or the ideals of the master Masons, to descend into the initiation well via an immense spiral shaped staircase. And down below, standing on a light pointed star it is as if we were immersed in the womb of Mother Earth. All we must do is traverse the darkness of the labyrinth grottos until we reach the light, reflected in the water of lakes of surprising beauty.
The land that is now Quinta da Regaleira had many owners through time. But in 1892 it belonged to the Barons of Regaleira, a family of rich merchants from Porto, when it was purchased that year by Carvalho Monteiro for 25,000 réis. Monteiro wished to build a bewildering place where he could gather symbols that would reflect his interests and ideologies. With the assistance of the Italian architect Luigi Manini, he designed the 4-hectare estate with its enigmatic buildings, believed to hide symbols related to alchemy, Masonry, the Knights Templar, and the Rosicrucians. The architecture of the estate evokes Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline architectural styles. The construction of the current estate commenced in 1904 and most of it was concluded by 1910.