Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil

Religious Architecture

The church was built by a Brotherhood of Black Men. They began erecting it in 1765, following authorisation from the Bishopric of Bahia, on donated land on a slope of the hill known as Pernambuco on the outskirts of the town of Vitória. The invocation to Our Lady of the Rosary was the most famous representation of the Virgin Mary among the colony’s slaves. The original chapel has been enlarged several times. The decoration of the façade and the cemetery wall date back to the late 18th century, whereas the present-day dimensions of the chancel and sacristy and the bell tower date from the 19th century. The relief mortar decoration of the interior resembles that of the Jesuit church of Araçatiba. The decoration of the bell tower is similar to that of the towers of other Jesuit churches in the area, particularly those of Reis Magos and Our Lady of Help. The old cemetery of the brotherhood with tombs cut out of the rock used to lie beside the church.

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