Parish Church of Saint Amaro

Parish Church of Saint Amaro

Santo Amaro das Brotas, Sergipe, Brazil

Religious Architecture

The church is located at a site donated to Carmelite priests in 1721 by Colonel Pedro Barbosa Leal and his wife. Construction must have been completed in 1728, the date inscribed on the frame of the door connecting the chancel to the sacristy. The building is austere, the limestone masonry being the only feature of note. The main doorway, which establishes an identity for the church, stands out among the stonework. The decorative work around the doorway includes geometrical and floral motifs and two curious figures resembling caryatids with crudely worked features, similar to those of the angel at the end of the central arcade. An image of Saint Amaro, flanked by floral features and volutes, stands in a niche above the doorway. This work stands out in the extremely simple façade, the body of which is marked out by cornerstones and a cornice and is crowned by a plain triangular pediment The single tower, initially built to the height of the cornice, was completed in 1941, as is evident from the design and the materials used. The floor plan reproduced a church design based on a chancel with sacristies on both sides and a nave with side aisles. The church now has an aisle and sacristy only on the left-hand side and there is very little decoration in the interior. The original carved wooden high altar was removed during alterations made in 1919. The side altars may also date from this period. Some stone features, particularly the crossing arch, which bears a shield with the Portuguese coat of arms, with a stone atlas and a caryatid forming the pulpit supports, are especially noteworthy. These rather crude images reflect the contribution of a low-skilled workforce. Because of its historical and architectural value, the church was listed by IPHAN in 1943.

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