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Beautiful Brazilian Baroque Churches

by Francois Hagnere on 12/09/10 at 10:45 am

Discover the marvels of Brazilian Baroque Style where the angels have the features of Indians and altars exuberant décor.

In Latin America, the images of Saints, either painted or sculpted, were also displayed on the occasion of holidays or processions in addition to being displayed in the churches, among them: numerous  representations of the founders of religious orders such as Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Company of Jesus, or Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint-Patron and Father of the Franciscan Order. It is the quiet nobility of these figures among the ornamental frenzy which is the most touching. The angels have Indian features, the Saints and Prophets resemble peasants who suffer or Europeans. They have emaciated, grieved or sanctimoniously smiling faces. Jesus is represented as a man bowing under yoke. Some of these images became famous when one started granting them miraculous powers: for instance the “Black Christ” of the cathedral of Mexico or the painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which has its own chapel in the cathedral of Sucre in Bolivia. If these icons are well known, they are not unique, magnificent powers of healing were credited to many Saints and to the Holy Blessed Mary.

The structure of the very first Brazilian churches was simple. The Portuguese colons were used to earthquakes, so their edifices had neither domes nor towers. Furthermore, the local artists were not sufficiently trained and Portugal remained unaffected by her colony in the XVIth century. A voluptuous Rococo décor spread out in the coastal towns such as Recife, in the State of Pernambouc, located at the Easternmost end of the New World. The boats used to arrive here three weeks before they could reach Rio de Janeiro. Recife has 62 churches, most of them are Baroque masterpieces, like Sao Pedro dos Clérigos, with its high and narrow towers and its many windows.

Baroque and Rococo Styles expanded with the discovery of gold and diamonds mines during the XVIIth century.   This reflected in the religious architecture of the region of Minas Gerais. The religious societies competed for the construction and ornamentation of churches. The church of Sao Francisco at Ouro Preto in the mining sector was built by Antonio Francisco Lisboa, also known as El Aleijadinho (the Little Crippled) who, as the Italian Baroque masters, was an architect and a sculptor. The decorated façade of the church is unusual because it shows round towers. Very few churches are vaulted for a lot of hard wood could be found in the region, local quartz was also used as an element of structure and décor.  The most Baroque church of Brazil is the Basilica Bom Jesus de Matozinhos at Congohas do Campo, it is also the masterpiece of El Aleijadinho.  The façade really has the high quality of the Early European Baroque Style. The graceful statues in front of the edifice form a unique theatrical scene.

Basilica Bom Jesus do Matozinhos at Congohas do Campo, Brazil.

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Prophet Joel at Bom Jesus do Matozinhos.

Image source: http://s3.amazonaws.com/readers/2010/09/12/joelprofeta_1.jpg

Church of Sao Francisco at Ouro Petro, Brazil.

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Church of San Antonio, Recife, Brazil.

Image source:http://s3.amazonaws.com/readers/2010/09/12/recifematrizdesantoantc3b4nio_1.jpg

Main altar of the Basilica of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Recife, Brazil.


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Painting in the Church of Sao Pedro dos Clérigos, Recife, Brazil.

Image source: http://s3.amazonaws.com/readers/2010/09/12/sc3a3opedrodosclc3a9rigos1_1.jpg

Liked it


Sep 12th, 2010

Great share and I love the pictures.


Sep 12th, 2010

Lovely pictures, nice destination to go. great share my friend


Sep 12th, 2010

Nice Share.


Sharif Ishnin

Sep 12th, 2010

Exciting design features. Well written and presented Francois.

Nykesha Alexandra

Sep 12th, 2010

This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing…

pippe vonkuhne

Sep 12th, 2010

Beautiful, exotic and interesting, a different culture. Thank you, Francois.


Sep 12th, 2010

Another good one, excellent.


Sep 12th, 2010

beautiful indeed…well written


Sep 12th, 2010

Marvelous share friend.


Sep 12th, 2010

In the churches, Baroque art can be seen on altars and images sculpted by artists. Well-written and presented article with lovely photos.

John Cornor

Sep 12th, 2010

Wonderful work of art. Thanks.


Sep 12th, 2010

Nice pictures!…well done!

Tip Writer

Sep 12th, 2010

Lovely and ornate churches. Amazing work you’ve done here. THanks


Sep 12th, 2010

Awesome designing and architecture. Very well presented entry, friend.


Sep 12th, 2010

Divine entry.. just reading and viewing the pictures give a miraculous touch to it. And what else is new King of Trifter? Congratulations! That’s 3 in a row.


Sep 13th, 2010

$- great-$

Francois Hagnere

Sep 13th, 2010

Thank you my friends for such kind comments. Take care.

Brewed Coffee

Sep 13th, 2010

Magnificent churches. Have you been in these churches? Must be really awesome.


Sep 14th, 2010

Very good post Francois, I hope to see these pictures in person.

Mythili Kannan

Sep 17th, 2010

Another fascinating article from you. Great work.

MJ Sunderland

Sep 17th, 2010

Amazing, Francois. Exceptional discussion of some great buildings. Have you been to South America? I would love to see these Baroque marvels.

Francois Hagnere

Sep 18th, 2010

I haven’t been to South America. I hope one day I will visit.
Thank you my friends.


Oct 16th, 2010

The theatrical scene is very interesting. How did I miss this one ;-)
Thank you my friend.

Mary J McCoy Dressel

Oct 21st, 2010

These churches are absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the escape.

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