Alcântara Favorites

  • Igreja Matriz de Sao Matias
    Igreja Matriz de Sao Matias
    by mircaskirca
  • building on Rua das Merces
    building on Rua das Merces
    by mircaskirca
  • ruins around Praca da Matriz
    ruins around Praca da Matriz
    by mircaskirca

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    Alcantara's Lost Splendour

    by mircaskirca Updated Sep 8, 2008

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    Igreja Matriz de Sao Matias
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    Fondest memory: As in Sao Luis, there are buildings in Alcantara which date from the 17th century, although not in such great number and not as well preserved. Many have survived only as ruins or as facades with nothing behind them. Pretty well preserved is Alcantara's main church, the impressive Igreja Matriz de Sao Matias on Praca da Matriz.

    The ruins of Palacio Negro (Black Palace), a former slave market, and several small palaces that once belonged to the 'barons', can be found on Rua da Amargura (Bitterness Street). Symbols of the rivalry of the local aristocracy, the two palaces were built to receive the emperor, D. Pedro II, Palacio do Baraode Mearim and Palacio do Barao de Pindare. The visit was finally cancelled and the works were never completed.

    IPHAN, the Brazilian Institute for the Preservation of Historic, Artistic and Cultural Heritage, listed the city's architecture as a National Heritage Site in 1948. IPHAN doesn't permit the recovery of the ruins, just to keep them in agreement with well coordinated planning.

    more pics in the Travelogue

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo

    Colonial Architecture

    by mircaskirca Updated Sep 7, 2008

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    beautifully restored house
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    Favorite thing: Charateristic features of Alcantara are its churches and its azulejo-clad houses, bearing witness to a time when the town was a favourite retreat of the landed aristocracy of Maranhao. Alcantara has an outstanding architectural heritage with over 300 colonial buildings that remain virtually untouched.

    Sobrados (two-storey colonial houses) with iron balconies, belvederes, walls of stone and lime, windows with stone facade from Portugal and facades of Portuguese azulejos are some of major attractions for visitors. There are several good examples of sobrados with azulejos on Rua Grande, with Casa do Divino being the most famous building. Well worth mentioning are also sobrados on Praca da Matriz, such as Casa de Camara e Cadeia and Museo Historico e Artistico de Alcantara.

    Igreja Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Rua Grande) and Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rossario dos Pretos (Rua Silva Maia) are Alcantara's best preserved churches and well worth a visit.

    more pics in the Travelogue

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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