The unique architecture of the Summer Palace of Quinta de Regaleira combines a wealth of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish and Renaissance features, however one of its most fascinating features is located beneath the ground – a pair of wells spiralling deep within the earth.
The pair of wells, known as the ‘Initiation Wells’ or ‘Inverted Towers’, consist of ‘winding stair’ architecture, which carries symbolic meanings possibly including the idea of death and rebirth.
It is these wells that piqued my curiosity a few years ago and so our Portuguese trip took root!
The wells were never used, nor intended for water collection. Instead, these mysterious underground towers were used for secretive initiation rites.
The main, completed well 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.
At the bottom of the well there is a compass over a Knights Templar cross, which is said to have been the estate owner Monteiro’s herald and a sign of his Rosicrucianism.
You can read more about the initiation wells here https://handluggageblog.com/?s=well