Churches, Salvador da Bahia
Just how much money did these guys make? The sugar barons of the early 1700s were apparently just showing off when they decided to announce to the world that their small colony had officially arrived by building the Igreja de Sao Francisco. They completed the church in 1723 and when it was done, they had used over 100kg of gold.
Religion at Salvador da Bahia is a palpable presence. There are a lot of catholic churchs, but is candomblé, the african-brazilian religion, which rules. This religion was brought by African slaves; catholic conquerors tried to eliminate it, but could not do it; there is a syncretism between both religions.
There are some popular rituals, like celebration of Senhor do Bonfim, or Iemanjá (sea godess).
La religión en Salvador de Bahia es una presencia palpable. Hay muchísimas iglesias católicas, pero es el candomblém la religión afro-brasileña, la que predomina. Esta religión fue traída por los esclavos africanos; los conquistadores católicos trataron de eliminarla, pero no lo lograron; se da un sincretismo entre ambas religiones.
Hay varios ritos populares, como la fiesta del Senhor do Bomfim, o la de Iemanjá, la diosa del mar.
Sao Francisco's Church has a beautiful atrium; its walls are coverd by painted tiles, brought from Portugal.
La Iglesia de San Francisco tiene un hermoso atrio; sus paredes están recubiertas de azulejos decorados, traídos de Portugal.
Igreja da (Nossa Senhora da) Conceicao da Praia - Church of Our Lady of the Conception of the Beach
Dazzling beautiful and where all the famous people get married - either here or at Vitoria church or Bomfim. The building was pre-made in Portugal and shipped in pieces to Brazil. The picture in the roof creates an illusion. (1739-1773). Irma Dulce, candidate of becoming the second brazilian saint in History, is burried in this church.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Rosario dos Pretos - Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of the Black
Very beautiful church, maybe the most ecumenical of them all, competing only with Bomfim and Sao Lazaro. Check the statues, the masses (the only ones I have the patience to attend! A lot of drums and happiness, not a glimpse of the atmosphere of guilt!)
Igreja de Sao Francisco - Saint Francis Church
If the legend that says Salvador 365 churches is true, Sao Francisco is in my opinion the most beautiful of them. Not because of its rich golden interior or the amazing effect obtained by the sculptors who were able to make the saints' eyes shine... but specially because its facade (blue and yellow tiles!) and its dellusioning ceiling on the secondary entrance. The picture is of the churche's internal garden, where you can see one of the biggest collection of portuguese tiles recently reformed.
'He who goes to Bomfim, my darling / Never wants to go back home / he was very lucky / he is very lucky / he will be very lucky / Have you ever been to Bahia, darling? No? / So you must!' This little extract of Caymmi´s song shows how important the Bomfim is to Salvador. The biggest devotion of every one in town - atheist, candombleis, catholic, no matter what you are, in the second thursday of january everyone walks to Bomfim to wash the stairs and ask for luck and protection, pay promisses and be blessed.
The city is famed for the beauty of its many Baroque colonial churches, especially the church of the convent of the Third Order of St. Francis (1701).