Church of Saint John the Baptist
Goiás, Vila Boa de Goiás, Goiás, Brazil
This church is now completely abandoned, even though it is listed at both state and federal level. It is located in a rural area of Goiás, where a prosperous gold-oriented settlement existed in the 18th century – the hamlet of Ferreiro, one of the first discovered by Bueno. The church is the only remnant from the former settlement, which was already beginning to disappear when Saint Hilaire and Cunha Mattos passed through Goiás in the 19th century. Built in 1761 by José Gomes, the church stands next to a cemetery and has a plain wooden bell tower, separate from the building. Its simple volumes reflect the interior organisation: the main block comprises the nave and choir, with a gable roof and a central ground floor entrance, two balcony windows at the level of the choir and a triangular pediment with a central oculus. The smaller volumes mark the chancel, with the sacristy on one side and storage space on the other. Inside, the three very time-worn altars suffer from a lack of use and poor conservation, but still display interesting carving work, some more refined and others quite rustic. The church was restored by IPHAN, most recently about five years ago.