The Masonic Initiation Wells of the Quinta da Regaleira

The Masonic Initiation Wells of the Quinta da Regaleira

(Read the article on one page)

Located near the historic center of Sintra, Portugal lies the Quinta da Regaleira- a spectacular estate that sits in a World Heritage protected landscape.  While thousands of tourists flock to the castle every year to admire the unique architecture of the Quinta de Regaleira that combines Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish and Renaissance features, one of its most fascinating features is located beneath the ground – a pair of wells spiraling deep within the earth. The wells were never used, nor intended for water collection. Instead, these mysterious underground towers were used for secretive initiation rites. 

The Quinta de Regaleira

The Quinta de Regaleira. Credit: liljc716 / flickr

The cultural landscape upon which the Quinta da Regaleira sits dates back thousands of years. There are archaeological sites in the area dating back to the early Neolithic (5 th millennium BC) and extending all the way through to the Iron Age (4 th – 2 nd centuries BC). The Roman occupation of the region began in the mid-2 nd century BC and it was later conquered by the Moors.  Sintra finally yielded to Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal after the conquest of Lisbon in 1147. Afonso built an imposing royal Palace there which served as a summer residence until the late 16 th century. After the suppression of the Templars in 1312, the lands passed to the Order of Christ. In the late 15 th century, Sintra was associated with Leonor, one of the greatest Queens of Portugal. Succeeding monarchs spent much time in the town, but after the Restoration of 1640, Sintra lost this link and the Royal palace served only as a prison for Afonso VI. Sadly, most of the built heritage of the region was destroyed in an earthquake in 1755, though there are some outstanding court and military buildings, examples of religious architecture and archaeological sites.  

The Quinta da Regaleira is a vast estate that sits within this historical landscape. It has had many owners throughout the years, each contributing their own personal touch. But it was not until 1904, after being sold to António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, a wealthy Portuguese entomologist, that the estate was transformed into a unique palace adorned with symbolic carvings associated with Masonry, the Knights Templar, and the Rosicrucians.

Gargoyles perch on the rooftop of the Quinta de Regaleira

Gargoyles perch on the rooftop of the Quinta de Regaleira. Credit: Daniel Boa Nova / flickr

The Quinta de Regaleira estate, which is sometimes referred to as "The Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire” after its latest owner, consists of a palace and chapel with exquisite décor including frescoes, stained glass windows, and lavish stuccoes. The estate grounds feature lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and an extensive and enigmatic system of tunnels that connect to two spiraling wells.

A system of tunnels - Quinta de Regaleira

A system of tunnels and caves connect to two deep and spiraling wells. ( Wikipedia)

The pair of wells, known as the ‘Initiation Wells’ or ‘Inverted Towers’, consist of ‘winding stair’ architecture, which carries symbolic meaning including the death/rebirth allegory common to many hermetic traditions.

One of the wells contains nine platforms, which are said to be “reminiscent of the Divine Comedy by Dante and the nine circles of Hell, the nine sections of Purgatory and the nine skies which constitute Paradise.” A smaller well, called the “Unfinished Well,” contains a set of straight staircases, connecting the ring-shaped floors to one another. It is believed that the spacing of the landings, as well as the number of steps in between were dictated by Masonic principles.

The Initiation Well

The Initiation Well consists of a spiraling staircase with nine platforms. Credit: nieos / flickr

At the bottom of the well there is a compass over a Knights Templar cross, which is said to have been  Monteiro’s herald and a sign of his Rosicrucianism. Very little is known about how the wells were used and what exactly went on there, though it is clear to see that great effort went into their planning and construction.

The bottom of the Initiation well at Quinta da Regaleira

The bottom of the Initiation well at Quinta da Regaleira. ( Wikipedia)

The beauty and symbology of the Quinta de Regaleira is like an open window into the past, and one of the last buildings in Sintra that carries the memory of the region’s rich and varied history. The initiation wells leave one to wonder about the events that once transpired there.  

Featured image: Quinta da Regaleira initiation well. Credit: nieos / flickr

Sources:

Initiation Well in the Town of Sintra, Portugal – Abandonedography. Available from: http://abandonedography.com/post/36881050362/initiation-well-in-the-town-of-sintra-portugal

Quinta da Regaleira – Virtual Portugal. Available from: http://www.portugalvirtual.pt/_tourism/costadelisboa/sintra/regaleira.html.

Comments

In the past 12 guardians sealed a beast at the bottom of that well. It was a great physical and spiritual battle. I was one of them ... the last to come ... the 12th Knight.

Hello hello hello,my names are agent Curtis Brown,an appointed agent by the great lucifar and sign by his earthly servant (LORD THADEOUS)my mission on earth is to convey more souls into the world of our great god called lucifar, which has found a new world for his children.in these world we possess riches,fame and power,any one who come to these world will leave a prestigious and luxury life think of earning the sum of $500,000 U.S dollars per month,cruising on a car worth 10 million dollars, leaving in a paradise home anywhere in the world,managing companies round the world only if you can keep to our rules the rules are as follows,honor the lucifar,always attend the meeting of the brotherhood at when due,always try to win soul when ever you have the privilege,keep to the commandment if you can keep to these rules then you are permitted to kindly contact us with our Email address on([email protected])for those who don't have access to internet you can contact us with these mobile number African dialed code (AFD +234-810-035-2928.)For those of you who want to confirm from my grand master in headquarter he also gave me his number you can contact him on his U.S dial code (+1 561-623-8873)welcome to the new world order NWO.

In addition to this building, most of the Gothic Cathedral were built with masonic principles. They are the same principles that the Egyptians, the Greeks and Romans used. These principles are based on the Greek mathematician, Euclid's encoding of earlier work into his Elements, which lays out the basics of Geometry.

angieblackmon's picture

I agree with Brian. Who wants to see another eyesore skyscraper or crappy apartment complex. We need to figure out how these builders worked their magic!

love, light and blessings

AB

Say what you will, but modern architecture doesn't hold a candle to the incredible complexity of ancient masonry like this-- these wells would be equally mindblowing if constructed today.

Pages

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Human Origins

Map of sites and postulated migratory pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research

Ancient Technology

Ancient Places

Illustration of the "Emmons mask", a Mississippian culture carved cedarwood human face shaped object once covered in copper and painted with galena and used as part of a headdress
The City of Moundsville is located along the Ohio River in Marshall County, West Virginia. From the time of European settlement in the 1770s, Moundsville was regarded by antiquarians as one of the most significant ancient sites in North America. For it was here that the Adena mound builders and their descendants constructed the largest ceremonial center in the Upper Ohio Valley

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article