São Luís do Paraitinga Things to Do
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This was once the main church in São Luis, before the larger Igreja Matriz (Main Church, literally) was built. It is usually closed to the public, but, if you are lucky, there will be a wedding or christening and you can peek in.
As many churches in São Paulo, Rosário has beautiful stained glass windows. I often wonder where these lovely works of art came from, but no one has told me yet... The walls have faux marbleling and lovely painted details. In the back, you will see the confessional - it is very old fashioned, where the priest is hidden behind a screen and the penitent kneels outside.
Go up to the choir and check out the window - it has an angel playing the harpshichord! Then climb up to the bell tower (the stairs are in the back of the choir and quite steep so be careful!) - you will have the best view of town (I didn't take my camera up, so no pics for you to see...)
Before you leave, go around the back to the cemitary. It is quite typical, with its raised tombs in white stone. Most are topped with a simple cross or angel.
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This was the center of everyday life in São Luis - the church dominates one side of the square, while the dry goods store is on the other, as well as colourful townhouses.
In the center, a bandstand is used for events, political speeches and just watching people go by.
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The marketplace was where small farmers, local butchers and all sorts of local artisans came to sell and trade.
It is a very traditional building, with an open central square and covered sides, where stalls were set up. It hasn't changed at all from when it was active as one of the centers of the town, along with the main church.
Today, local folkart can be bought here as well as local delicacies. A stage is often set up in the center of the square, for everything from music shows to political debates.
São Luís do Paraitinga Favorites
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Favorite thing: Most buildings in São Luis are colonial buildings, very simple and often painted in bright colors.
The townhouses are build close to the street, and doors and windows open straight onto the side walk. Tradionally, the town gossip would sit beside the window to watch everything that went on in town! Meanwhile, young ladies would sing near the windows, to catch some young man's fancy...
The older houses are usually just one story high, while later ones have a second floor. Oswaldo Cruz's house is open to the public and it is very interesting to see how the houses are inside (extremely simple - a main room with smaller side chambers and a kitchen).
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Favorite thing: São Luis is a very small town with a lot of steep streets!
Most are cobblestones, lined with colourful houses. Look up and you may see a little ol lady watching the streets - she is sure to note any unusual going ons!
You will come across small squares, usually with a shrine dedicated to a patron saint
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