Lat: -10.289944336743000, Long: -36.585849028798000


Alagoas, Brazil

Historical Background and Urbanism

The initial urban centre of the city of Penedo was built on high ground by the bank of the River São Francisco at the southern limit of the Pernambuco captaincy. It was raised to the status of a town as Vila de São Francisco in 1636. Previously it was a curato (a village that was not yet a parish), with a chapel dedicated to Saint Antony (c. 1615) and another dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary of the Black People (1634). In 1637, the town was invaded by Dutch troops led by Maurits van Nassau, who ordered the building of Fort Maurício (no longer standing) to ensure inland access via the River São Francisco. The fighting raged for eight years before Penedo and the river definitively returned to the Portuguese crown. The town was now called Vila do Penedo do Rio de São Francisco, shortened to its current name of Penedo after it was raised to the status of a city in 1842. Penedo’s built landscape is marked by various styles evident in the differences between its first churches and later structures such as the Town Hall and Prison (1781), the Oratory of the Condemned (1769) and the 7th of September Theatre (1884). Also noteworthy is the city’s genuinely modern architecture such as the São Francisco Hotel built in the 1960s. The cityscape has nevertheless remained coherent, having been listed by IPHAN since 1996.

Religious Architecture