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Lift of Bom Jesus do Monte

Lift of Bom Jesus do Monte

It’s due to a Braga’s business man from the XIX century, Manuel Joaquim Gomes (1840-1894), the initiative to build the Lift of Bom Jesus do Monte (Elevador Bom Jesus do Monte), in Braga, designed by de Nikolaus Riggenbach and Raul Mesnier, whose works were concluded in 1882, year of its opening. It is, therefore, the first funicular built in the Iberian Peninsula.

Meanwhile, with the expropriation, in 1914, of the Railway Company and Lift of Bom Jesus company (Companhia da Carris and Ascencor Bom Jesus), the autarchy became responsible by the exploration since then exerted over the public transportation of Braga.

The Lift of Bom Jesus (Elevador Bom Jesus) is a funicular standing over a slope, and is composed of two booths that move over railways connected by a cable. Working as counterbalance of one another, both go up and downhill alternately and simultaneously along two parallel tracks over a course of 274 meters. Each booth has the capacity to 39 people, including the driver.

Revealing itself the second funicular designed by Nikolaus Riggenbach, the Lift of Bom Jesus do Monte (Elevador Bom Jesus do Monte) is currently the only one working, what is by itself revealing of its importance in a world scale of the water counterbalanced funiculars, which the most recent is from 1992. Also, it represents a valuable testimony of the activity initiated by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard, portuguese engineer of French ancestry, specialized in mechanical engineering, and that, after the conclusion of this Lift, was involve in the construction of Lisbon’s lifts of Lavra, Glória and Santa Justa.

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