It was late, on 7 March 2011. I had just arrived after a short flight from Salvador. My hotel was situated near the source of the large Ministries huge. I met some friends, Brazilians, and then started to tour the beautiful monuments. They looked like there were from another world
A must in Salvador: The Church of Our Lord of Bonfim. Located in Holy Hill and built in the eighteenth century in a colonial neoclassic style, the church is a major site of pilgrimage throughout the year. Legend has it that when the construction was finished in 1773, the slaves were forced by members of the "Brotherhood of the Devotees Leigos" to wash the church as part of the preparation for the festival of "Senhor do Bonfim " which is always on the second Sunday of January, after the Epiphany. Over time, those of the "Candomblé" religion (brought from Africa with the slaves) began to associate the image of Senhor do Bonfim with the Orixá Oxalá god of their own religion. As Candomblé was not accepted by the church, the local archiepiscopal banned the washing of the interior for this reason and the ritual was transferred to the stairs instead. This ritual is still followed today and has become a tourist attraction. The area is full of people in folklore costumes that the slaves used in their days. They wash the stairs with scented water and lay flowers while singing hymns and religious songs. Another tradition is the more modern "do Senhor do Bonfim fitinha." In Salvador and in other cities of Bahia you´ll find find small colored fabric ribbons or bracelets with three knots. Each knot represents a wish of the Senhor do Bonfim. At the gates of the church, you can see thousands of these representing thousands more ve wish to spend time there.
Brasilia is full of unique and beautiful things to see. It truly is a photographer's paradise where it seems that architects are required to give their best to blend with the works of Niemeyer. Whoever designed this church certainly succeeded. It's hard not to get overwhelmed by so much plain and simple beauty.
San Salvador is a city in northern Brazil, capital of the state of Bahia, and known as the "colonial capital of Brazil". It has the largest population of any city in northeastern Brazil, and the third-largest in the country. It is a magical city, where all the religions you could imagine coexist without any problems ... Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Spiritualists, the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church, etc. Wherever you go, you'll find hundreds of churches, some big and sumptuous, others small and simple. They're usually colonial buildings with white walls and warm ornamentation. Many religious festivals are celebrated here, including the feast days of San Cosme, St. Damian, Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, Santa Barbara, Santa Lucia, and most importantly, Our Lord of Bonfim. Anyone who has read a book by Jorge Amado will understand the inspiration felt by that great poet when they come to Bahia.
This church was built entirely of wood in 1917, then rebuilt in stone in 1943. It has a lot of historical interest, but the most notable thing about it is its magnificent beauty. The Roman-style building stands out here in Brazil, where we're more used to whitewashed churches.
After visiting this beautiful church, with its spectacular views, you'll find yourself rethinking your religion! It's one of the best panoramic points that I found in Arraial D'Ajuda. It attracts a daily mix of believers and tourists, and has a beautiful interior and surrounding landscapes, with shops outside with very reasonable prices. During the morning, they set up a cafe in the square outside, and when you arrive, with the colourful colonial architecture, you might feel like you've gone back in time to 1550, the year the church was built!
Paraty is a small pleasant city in Brazil, on the ocean between the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Its appearance is preserved, old Portuguese colonial style built with cobbled streets, full of color everywhere. Highlights: its small churches, simple yet warm, with white walls and ocher yellow accents, typical colonial style. The city of Paraty in the 50s was declared Heritage of Humanity precisely to preserve the colonial style of all the buildings.
Sanfins Church was formerly part of a Benedictine monastery, existing in the year 1134. Today, only the Romanesque church has been preserved, dating from the second half of the twelfth century, with several renovations running into the thirteenth century. The rest of the building is in ruins, except for some small arches that still remain and are proof of the beauty of the previous Benedictine monastery. To reach the church of Sanfins you have two options: from Valença do Minho and up the Monte Faro, a route of about 11 km. Or, the shortest way, is from Monçao. The striking thing about this tour is the spectacular scenery as it sits in relative isolation and with stunning views of the valley and the Baixo Miño. The interior of the church is completely empty and it is said that the monastery was occupied by the old Jesuits back in the sixteenth century.
The first church in Brasilia. Yes, also by Niemeyer. Must be seen. It is very tiny, more like a chapel, but it is beautiful - and in one of the super blocks, where you'll find an urban complex of houses, shops, leisure facilities ... really worth a visit.