Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | November 24, 2009

Mysteries in Sintra, Portugal

Just back from a workshop in Sintra, Portugal. Alexandre and Sofia run one of the best publishing houses in that country, Zefiro, from an office located in a beautiful old building on the side of a hill overlooking Sintra and its palace. The office is in a spiritual centre which runs courses, and the walls are covered in 18th or 19th century murals depicting the local landscape. When we finished the workshop we went out for a meal and they showed me the back entrance, with its house number reversed. This, they explained, was done for a reason – as a code for local freemasons and esotericists. Alexandre explains it thus:

Alexandre & Sofia of Zefiro Editions at the back entrance of their building

‘The man who made this building (originally an hotel, named “Hotel Vítor”), was Vítor Sassetti, who was a freemason at the end of the 19th century/early 20th century. He was also a friend of Carvalho Monteiro (who built the wonderful and esoteric “Quinta da Regaleira”) and Luigi Manini, who designed all the artwork and architecture of Quinta da Regaleira.This reversed number “3” was supposedly a sign for their secret meetings in the building…’

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