The large initiation well was impressive and awe-inspiring, but it was news to me that there were two wells. The second one is much more like a prison and you can only get to it from one of the dark passages that lead away from the first. Here’s the kicker…originally, the second well was a dead end. It was completely enclosed by a circular wall (hidden from the path) and it has stairs that lead to nowhere. Very Escher!
The family that bought Quinta de Regaleira after its eccentric owner had the wall taken down and they put a rail around it. They were afraid one of their eight kids would accidentally fall in. Essentially this entire labyrinth and secondary well was built purely for its symbolic meaning. It was never, ever about a way out, but rather the contemplation that short cuts lead to nowhere…
Look closely at the picture with the revolving stone door and to the left you will see my husband’s hand. This hole is there solely for the purpose of a secret handshake. Masons and other cults favor those. The heavy stone door was something straight out of Dungeons & Dragons…too cool for school! It’s been locked in place, but back in the day it could only be opened from the inside by Carvalho Monteiro with a sophisticated mechanism.
To get to the initiation well you have to go through the portal of the two guardians which tips its hat to Roman Mythology. The two lizards are holding between them a shell which looks very much like a uterus. It’s really impossible to grasp the layers upon layers of meaning in these gardens.
Barely visible, between the compass rose spikes at the bottom of the well is the Templar Knights cross–a symbol that keeps appearing over and over throughout the gardens.
Monteiro left us a puzzle that to this day we are still trying to figure out.
My today´s image is about the dimensions within the temporality of the human being. Yes we all are immerse in our daily life and forget that we are finite, that things can change at a given minute for good. I´m not being pessimistic instead the other way around. Please enjoy the things you really like, that really have any meaning to you and in particular great people.
I dedicate this moment to the memory of Mr. Ivan Baljamski, a man that was a ruling model to everyone around him. He´s the father of a great and very loyal friend of mine. Peace to his soul.
Very soon we will have a video about this and other images on our Facebook group Photo Reflections. Also if you are a gear addict perhaps are interested in my latest article on ISO500px - https://iso.500px.com/confessions-of-a-gear-addict/
Have a great weekend and happy shooting!
Quinta de Regaleira is a mystery to this day because neither the patron nor the builder left any notes about the meaning or symbology present in the configuration of the gardens. The overall theme is definitely one of rebirth–of going from darkness into the light; from ignorance to wisdom.