Church and Convent of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Itú, São Paulo, Brazil
The Carmelite convent of Itú was founded in 1760 by Friar João Batista de Jesus, following the founding of the Carmelite Third Order of Itú. The first references to this convent date back to 1717. Soon afterwards, between 1776 and 1782, the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel was built, beginning as a small chapel with a sacristy. In 1777, the construction of the church’s main body was authorised by the administration of the Third Order, due to the Procession of Triumph. The work on the church was completed in 1779, but it was not inaugurated until 1782. It is known that, since the late 18th century, when the convent’s windows were replaced by balconies, the complex has undergone several remodellings, none of which have affected the original layout. The location of the complex within the urban fabric is enhanced by the small square in front and by the perspective that causes the church to stand out against the rest of the city. The façade of the Carmelite church follows the lines of other religious buildings in São Paulo from the same period, with a single tower. The church has a single nave, the interior being of rare beauty due to the sobriety of the whole that involves the side altarpieces, pulpits and the chancel. The nave, chancel and ceiling had paintings by Jesuíno do Monte Carmelo, whom Friar Tomé had brought from Santos to carry out those works in Itú. Of those works, only the ones of the chancel ceiling remained after 1928. The complex was listed by iphan on 21st June, 1967, and by CONDEPHAAT (ex officio) on 12th May, 1982.