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Sao Francisco de Paula Church
Ranked #134 of 720 things to do in Rio de Janeiro
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: This church in the Largo de São Francisco was the site of many imperial events, including the 1822 mass dedicated to the country's conversion from colony to kingdom and the mass celebrating Brazil's adoption of its first constitution in 1831. Pope Pius X dedicated one of its chapels to the defeat of the Turks by Christian forces in the 16th century. Along with its colonial exterior and ornate interior, visitors should note sculptures done by Mestre Valentim and paintings by the slave Manoel da Cunha.
Level Contributor
875 reviews
668 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 842 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2013

The fantastic intricate carvings make this church beautiful to the eye - especially as when we visited the alter was adorned with hundreds of white flowers. The paintings and statues are very interesting. For a special prayer area, go behind the alter to see Jesus, an angel and a man presented in a glass box. Slightly sad that it seemed a little gloomy but that kinda added to the atmosphere

Visited February 2013
2 Thank elsiek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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105 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
428 reviews
341 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 239 helpful votes
“our best experience in Rio”
Reviewed October 26, 2012

visiting this church was the best experience we had in Rio... that is saying a lot as we loved the regular tourist sights like sugar loaf, Christo redentor and the parks--jardim botanico, parque lage , tijuca ... the walls of this church are fully gilded and the paintings are totally awesome, even the prayer benches are so beautifully carved... we stayed here awestruck for half an hour... the R$2 entry fee they collect is so meagre for viewing this gem... there was nobody else when we were there... i'm amazed why this gem is so hidden

Visited April 2012
3 Thank IndFamTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wimborne Minster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
510 reviews
259 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 399 helpful votes
“Beautiful interior”
Reviewed December 13, 2011

We visited during a torrential downpour so didn't really have the opportunity to appreciate the exterior, but after looking at other photos it appears that the exterior is covered in ugly graffiti.
Thankfully,inside was another story, which wasn't apparent as we entered the dimly-lit interior. However once the lights were switched on it was breathtaking. Glittering gold covered the walls, and the ceiling frescoes were absolutely stunning.
If the weather hadn't been so awful I doubt whether we would have seen this beautiful church, but I'm glad we did.

Visited October 2011
3 Thank Anne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level Contributor
1,246 reviews
406 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,728 helpful votes
“A real jewel of baroque art forgotten in the historical center of Rio.”
Reviewed September 2, 2011

The church facade is austere, but its interior is richly decorated with mosaics, frescoes and sculptures by renowned masters of late Baroque art. Unfortunately, theis conservation status is bad and,the church is located in a beautiful old square, but, a bit dangerous, with several homeless people in the vicinity as well. Still, being in the center, is worth a visit, especially at peak hours.

Visited October 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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