Located in João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil, the architectural ensemble of Igreja São Francisco/ Convento de Santo Antônio (St. Francisco Church / Convent of St. Anthony) is formed by the Churchyard, Church, Convent and Cross. It is considered the largest monument in the Baroque style in Latin America. This complex was the initiative of the friars of the Franciscan Order who came to Paraíba to help Jesuits in catechizing the indigenous population. The complex is listed by the Historic Register of National Heritage since 1952.
The Church of São Francisco presents a style true to the Baroque and Rococo tradition. It is considered the most important historical religious monument of this art movement.
Construction began in 1589 and was only fully completed in 1788. At some point it served as the residence of the Dutch officials during the Dutch invasion of Northeastern Brazil.
In the Courtyard of the Church there are panels of Portuguese tiles from the XVII and XVIII centuries which depict the Passion of the Christ.
Currently, the entire Church of São Francisco complex is open to the public. For the art lovers, this architectural wonder provides an infinite array of paintings, frescoes, tiles, sculptures and statues of angels and saints, all with a deep historical and spiritual significance. Besides being one of the most visited tourist spots in Jõao Pessoa, a lot of the weddings of the traditional families of the city are celebrated here.
Hope you enjoyed this tour thru the eye of my camera lens.
. . . It has been almost 250 years since its completion and the Church still stands as beacon of Christianity and honor to Saint Francisco, as well as a stark reminder of the sometimes brutal “christianization” of the New World. Nevertheless, this religious sanctuary means so much to so many people of my hometown. It is an undeniable gem with both historical and religious significance for centuries to come.