Initiation Well in Quinta da Regaleira Park, Sintra

This 88ft deep well is located on the land of Quinta da Regaleira, near the town of Sintra, Portugal. The well was never used as a well and, in fact, was never built to serve as a water resource at all. It was actually built for secret ceremonial purposes. It has a spiral staircase of 27m to the bottom.

Initiation Well looks like an inverted tower. It is either a journey into depths of Mother Earth or a rise up into light. Well represents death/rebirth allegory, typical within many mystical traditions. Journey through well is like a rebirth through Mother Earth’s womb.

Now, Initiation Well in Quinta da Regaleira Park, Sintra, Portugal, under UNESCO Protection.

The Initiation Wells (also called initiatic wells or inverted towers) are two wells on the property that better resemble underground towers lined with stairs. These wells never served as water sources. Instead, they were purportedly used for ceremonial purposes. The tunnels described above connect these wells to one another, in addition to various caves and other monuments located around the park.

Of the two wells, the larger one contains a 27-metre spiral staircase with 23 small niches on the side. The nine flights of stairs could be linked to the Knights Templar, which had nine founders.[3] They might also symbolize the 9 churches of Hell from Dantes’ Inferno.[4] At the bottom of the well is an inland stone compass with the Templar cross.[4] Other references may be to FreemasonryRosicrucianism rituals.

Carvalho Monteiro was possibly an initiate of the Knights Templar, a Catholic military order. This medieval order originated in the early 1100’s and likely disbanded in the 1300’s. However, groups like the Freemasons revived their rituals and traditions hundreds of years later. It is believed that initiations at Quinta da Regaleira began with blindfolded candidates entering one of the wells. They purportedly held a sword close to their heart and descended the 9 flights of stairs. Once they reached the bottom of the well, they walked into a dark labyrinth and needed to find their way up towards the light then to the chapel, where they were welcomed into the brotherhood.[3]

The smaller well contains straight stairs that connect a series of ring-shaped floors to one another.[5] This well is also called the ‘Unfinished Well’.