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Recife Travel Guide

São Francisco



Started to be built in 1606 and gave origin to the neighborhood of Santo Antônio. In 1636, the Dutch, who made it into a fortress, occupied it. It was also an Anglican temple.
The Franciscan complex is located at Rua Imperador Pedro II. One of the city's biggest attractions, a convent containing the ostentatious Capela Dourada ("Golden Chapel"), which certainly lives up to its name.

Capela Dourada da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco, in english, "The Golden Chapel" is aptly named, founded in 1697 by the rich landlords, it represents the ultimate expression of baroque art in Recife. The chapel has all its walls covered in carved woodwork. In the altar, all in carved golden wood pieces, you will see an 18th century saint statue. The altar is a two-story arch of jacaranda and cedar, all gilt with gold. Christ hangs on a golden cross with gold and silver rays shining out behind his head. The chapel is part of a Franciscan complex that includes a small sacred art museum with a few nice pieces of gold and silver work. Also worth a look is the Church of the Ordem Terceiro de São Francisco. One wall of this church is decorated with a rather disturbing oil painting showing Franciscan monks getting crucified. Someone else obviously took a dislike to it; the face of every soldier has been scraped away. Don't miss the church archives behind the altar. The cabinets are 12 feet high and made of solid jacaranda, gorgeous craftsmanship.

Working Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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