Parish Church of Saint Amaro (Ipitanga)
Lauro de Freitas, Bahia, Brazil
The church is placed sideways at the top of the main square, the highest point of the city, which is built around a hill. The square is on the church’s left; on the right is the walled cemetery. The floor plan comprises a single nave with side galleries opening to the outside and tribunes above. There is little historical information about this building. Based on the entrance type, Germain Bazin holds that it is from the last third of the 17th century. In 1759, José António Caldas asserted that the parish contained 622 homes and 4,722 souls. Other Recôncavo parish churches follow the same typology, such as Saint Bartholomew’s of Maragogipe and Our Lady of Monte do Recôncavo – both late 17th century. This church type gave rise to the churches with side aisles that spread during the next century among par- ish and other churches linked to brotherhoods. An interesting feature of its floor plan is the presence of two symmetrical side chapels, a remnant of the false transept used in Portuguese-Brazilian Jesuit churches. The tile panels in the nave and chancel are the most extensive existing in Portuguese-Brazilian architecture and date from 1740/50.