Church of Our Lady of the Rosary
Acari, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Augusto has indicated that the first land grants in the Seridó hinterland were awarded in the 1670s for livestock purposes. There was local indigenous resist- ance, which was part of the conflict known as the “Bar- barian War”. Morais thus holds that a permanent set- tlement was only established in the area in the early 18th century. Acari began as a travellers’ rest stop on the banks of the River Acauã, centring on the Chapel of Our Lady of Guia built by Sergeant-Major Manuel Esteves de Andrade, who applied for the respective authorisation in 1737. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this was the second most important settlement in Seridó after Caicó, obtaining town status in 1833. The chapel was subject to some modifications from 1836 to 1840, when side aisles were added. It was renamed the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary (Pombal, Church of Our Lady of the Rosary) in the 1870s, when a new parish church was built. The church is a stone and brick masonry structure. Its frontispiece, with a raised cornice and pediment along with depressed-arched lintels, is a simplified version of the model prevalent in the Pernambuco region in the second half of the 18th century (Recife, Chapel of Our Lady of the Conception of the Jaqueiras). The interior is notable for the chancel’s gilded and polychrome work (altarpiece, ceiling and crossing arch), the design being typical of the Dona Maria period. The church was listed by iphan in 1964. From 1969 to 1979, it underwent various modifications, including general repairs and the removal of the galleries, side altars and arches, which opened onto the chancel and nave.
Juliano Loureiro de Carvalho