Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Catholic Churches Worth Visiting

On July 22nd the Pope Francis comes to Brazil on his first official international travel for the Apostolic Journey. In Brazil over 120 million people follow the Roman Catholic religion, more than any other country in the world. Today I will show you the amazing churches you can't miss.

Rafael 1984 on Flickr
National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida - Every year over 9 million people visit this Shrine which is the second biggest of the world, smaller only than the Saint Peter Basilica at Vatican. in 1717, when the city was lacking food, three fishermen fished, as a miracle, the image of Virgin Mary from the Paraíba do Sul River, a sign that the city of Aparecida would be blessed. From that time on Aparecida became a religious destinatination for Brazilians and international tourists.  Address: Av. Júlio Prestes, Aparecida - SP. Distance from São Paulo: 188 km, from Rio: 269 km.

Cathedral of Brasilia
Cathedral of Brasilia - one of the most famous projects of the architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Cathedral has 16 columns that meet in the center and separate again on top. It started to be built in 1958 and was finished in 1970. 
Part of the Cathedral was built bellow the ground level, so from inside it looks bigger. Address: Esplanada dos Ministérios, lote 12 - Brasilia, DF. Hours: Mon - Fri 8 am to 6 pm / Sat 8 am to 5 pm / Sun 8 am to 6 pm

Cathedral of Sé - The beautiful Cathedral in gothic architecture style is located in the centre of São Paulo city, it's construction started in 1598 and finished in 1612. The dates are impressive considering that Brazil was discovered in 1500, but in 1954 the Cathedral was totally remodeled. Address: Praça da Sé - São Paulo, 01001-000 Hours: Mon - Fri 8 am to 7 pm / Sat 8 am to 5 pm / Sun 8 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm. For more information visit: Catedral da Sé.

Mosteiro de São Bento
Mosteiro de São Bento - The first construction is dated 400 years ago, but this beautiful, huge construction you will see is the forth one, from 1922. The project was made by Richard Berndl, professor at the University of Munich, one of the best architects in Germany. On the last Sunday of each month, after the mass you can stay for brunch, the food is prepared by the monks and good chefs from São Paulo. To buy the tickets please call +55 (11) 2440-7837 talk to Silvia. You can also buy bread, pastries at the Mosteiro's bakery, or online, check the website: Bakery   Address: Largo de São Bento (Centro) - São Paulo.

São Francisco de Assis

Church of São Francisco de Assis - At Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, both the church and the region are worth visiting. The chuch was projected by the famous architect Oscar Niemeyer in 1940. Inside you will admire the paints of Portinari. Address: Avenida Otacílio Negrão de Lima, 3000 - Pampulha - Hours: Tue - Sat and holidays from 9 am to 5 pm. Sun 12 pm to 5 pm. Sunday mass: 9:30 am.

Catedral Basilica - It is said that the city of Salvador, Bahia has over 365 churches. The Basilica Cathedral is the most impressive of the city, it has golden altars on the side, rich in details. Pay attention on the celling made of tridimensional images. Address: Terreiro de Jesus (Pelourinho) - Hours: Mon - Sat 8:30 am to 11:30 am / 1:30 pm to 5 pm. On Sundays it's open only for masses, at 9 am and 6 pm.
Church and Convent of Sao Francisco

Church and Convent of São Francisco - this church impresses for the amount of gold it has all over the place. It was build with the financial help of the Portuguese King and Christian followers. The church has a baroque style, very rich in details; the marble floor imitates rugs. Avoid visiting the church at mass hours (Tue at 7, 8 am and 4, 6 pm / Wed and Thu 7:15 am and 6 pm / Fri 7:15 am / Sat 7:30 am / Sun at 8 am), it's free but it's not allowed to walk around and take pictures. 
The church is open on Mon from 9 am to 5:30 pm / Tue 9 am to 2:45 pm / Wed - Sat 9 am to 5:30 pm, on Sundays is necessary to book a visit. It costs R$ 5.00 (around US$ 2.50). Address - Largo Cruzeiro São Francisco - Pelourinho - Salvador

São Francisco da Penitencia - Creative Commons/Enrique Lopez Tamayo Biosca
Igreja de São Francisco da Penitencia - If you are in Rio, this is a church worth visiting. When you look from outside you can't tell how impressive it is inside. 
The church has a baroque style, from the front door, you can take a nice a picture. Address: Largo da Carioca - Centro - Rio de Janeiro. Hours: Mon - Fri 9 am - 12 pm /  1pm - 4 pm.

Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Antiga Sé - Also in Rio, this church has lot of historical importance. It was there that occurred the consecration of Dom João VI as King of Portugal in 1816, and Dom Pedro I and II as Emperors of Brazil. 
To learn more the Sound and Light click here, screw the page down to read it in English. Address: Rua 7 de setembro, 12 - Centro - Rio de Janeiro. Hours: Mon - Fri 7 am to 4 pm / Sat and Sun 9 am to 12 pm.       
Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Antiga Sé - Flickr: LL Silva

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