Parish Church of Our Lady of the Assumption

Parish Church of Our Lady of the Assumption

Viçosa do Ceará, Ceará, Brazil

Religious Architecture

In 1759, following the extinction of the Society of Jesus, the magistrate, Bernardo Coelho Gama Casco, was entrusted with the task of registering the property of the Jesuits in Ceará and placing it in the hands of the Crown. According to the inventory of the property belonging to the Jesuit mission at Ibiapaba compiled on 7th June, 1759, the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption had a chancel of approximately 41 palms long and 31 palms wide; from the crossing arch to the main door it measured 110 palms in length and 45 palms wide. The choir was 17 palms long and the same width as the church. The sacristy stood to the right of the chancel and was the same length (41 palms) as the chancel and 20 palms wide. To the left, there was a house for the Jesuits with the same width and the same length as the sacristy. The church had another compartment under the chancel throne that was 31 palms wide and 10 palms long. The church also had a forecourt with staircases measuring 78 palms in length and 45 palms in width. Although the towers are not mentioned in the inventory, they can be visualised, as they are (and were) the same 17 palms in width as the upper choir. The current architectural survey conducted by Castro contains small differences in relation to the measurements in palms included in the inventory made after the expulsion of the Jesuits. The central section of the façade corresponds to the larger nave and is composed of three doors of equal width, surmounted on the upper floor by three windows. The curved pediment topped by a cross and pierced by a false blind oculus completes the composition. The towers are square, with pinnacles rising from the cornerstones. The prismatic shaped chancel ceiling features a naive painting by an unknown painter. The building was classified by federal law in 2002.

Clóvis Ramiro Jucá Neto

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