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The Centre

The Centre (43)

If you visit the centre of Rio in search of vestiges of its colonial past, you'll find that, unfortunately, very few buildings from the colonial era have survived. During the dark period of the military dictatorship of Vargas, he built large avenues in an attempt to leave his stamp and thus extinguished almost all colonial buildings. Still, if you walk down Rua do Ouvidor you'll find reminders of the 19th century, one-storey houses and palaces, where the ground floor houses a shop or a bar, with their characteristic façades in bright colours and balconies that show what the city of Rio was like during colonial times.

 A few metres from Rua do Ouvidor is the beautiful Church of the Brotherhood of the Holy Cross of the Military. The Brotherhood was founded in 1623 in the old Santa Cruz Fort and had one of the most beautiful churches in the city. In 1811, the new Church of the Brotherhood was inaugurated with a solemn mass and the presence of the Prince Regent Dom João. Its interior is beautiful and cheerful, and painted in white, which is reminiscent of its colonial past, and it is considered one of the finest examples of the Baroque. Also worth noting are the sculptures on the side walls of the great altar, which were the work of Valentim, the best-known sculptor of the colonial era in Rio.

If you carry on to Praça da Candelaria, in its centre, surrounded by the traffic as if it were a castaway, is the Church of the Candelaria. The origin of the church hides a curious story: in 1609 a captain to promised erect a temple in honour of Our Lady of Candelaria if his ship, called Candelaria, survived a severe storm. And that's how the church came to be built. In the exterior, you will see the domes of the towers covered with tiles, a feature seen in most churches in Rio. The interior combines the Baroque and Renaissance styles.

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