Church of Mount Carmel

Church of Mount Carmel

Alcântara, Maranhão, Brazil

Religious Architecture

Founded in 1647, this is the richest and best preserved church in the city. The existing one is post 1691, dating from the 18th century. It has a single nave, side galleries that lead to the choir and tribunes, neoclassical portals made of lias imported from Lisbon and a wavy pediment placed between two square domed towers. The nave is very interesting: it has a richly carved wooden pulpit; the altarpiece with decorative features in the Joanine style has a series of white figures of angels of varied sizes that frame the windows and the crossing arch, leaping from one side to the other, and continuing around the windows and cymatium of the entire church. In this way, the wide chancel is reminiscent of a cave full of dancing angels... The turned work of the balusters of the verandas and windows is magnificent. The cloister and (uninhabited) convent fell into ruin over the course of the 19th century.

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