Initiatic Well: the story behind this intriguing Portuguese construction

The Portuguese city of Sintra - about 30 kilometers from Lisbon - is home to a 27-meter-deep well that, in addition to its enigmatic appearance, has a history that oozes mystery. Going down the nine flights of stone spiral staircase, visitors can get a taste of the symbols that make this underground gallery such an exciting place.

It was called the "Initiatic Well" because it is believed that the rituals of initiation of Freemasons were performed within. Moreover, in the back of the site is embedded in marble, an eight-pointed star on a Templar cross, symbol of the order of the same name that is linked to Freemasonry.

The Initiatic Well

The Initiatic Well, seen from above and below

And the symbolism surrounding the building does not stop there: it is speculated that its nine floors allude to the nine circles of hell, the nine sections of purgatory and the nine heavens of paradise, described by Dante Alighieri in “The Divine Comedy” .

The well is just one of the attractions of the historic Quinta da Regaleira palace, which also has woods, chapel, beautiful gardens and a monumental palace in romantic style, built in the last century.