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Tourist attractions in São Luís, Maranhão
The main attraction in São Luís in the Historical Center. A walk along cobbled streets
among the many centennial manor houses with their Portuguese tile fronts is a journey
into the past.Each street and alley has a story,either about some important idividual,
or a mythical character.
Most of the popular manifestations happen in the Historical
center;it's also the site for the rehearsals for the Bumba-Meu-Boi street pageants and
the Tambor de Crioula samba-like music circles.
Convento das Mercês - Convent of Mercy
R.da Palma,502, Downtown.
Tuesday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
This Convent was founded in 1654
and has been refurbished several times. It was transformed into Army Headquarters and
the Fire Brigade throughout most of the 20º century. In 1987 it was renovated again,
and most of its original characteristics restored. Even the convent's first well,
which was closed during the military occupation, was re-opened.
Its architecture is
Colonial, with arched columns, and there is also a lovely view over the docks.
the convent houses the Fundação da Memória Republicana, a collection of documents and
picture dating from Brazilian former President José Sarney days in office. There is
also a library with rare books and documents,including original sermons written by
the famous priest Padre Antônio Vieira(1608-1697).
Cafuá Das Mercês /Museu do Negro - Museum of Black Culture
R. Jacinta Maia, Downtown.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, from 2 to 5:30 p.m.
A colonial style building with internal courtyard covered in masonry brought
from Portugal, as was the custom in colonial days. There is also a replica of the
the pillory that used to stand in Largo do Carmo.
In 1888 it was the jail and
slave market. In 1975 the Museu do Negro was created with a collection of items
donated by Afro-Brazilian cultural centres. Among its many items are manually
operated mill stones, a replica of a torture chair, and photographs of Debret's slave
market scene engravings.
Igreja da Sé - Main Church
Av.D.Pedro II, Pça.João Lisboa, Downtown.
Opening hours: daily,from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entrance is Free.
Monitored tours on Tuesday,4 p.m.
The Igreja da Sé was first built in 1626
in honor of Nossa Senha da Vitória, patron saint of São Luís.
goes that two years after the French occupied São Luís, Portugal tried to
claim it back.In the ensuing battle, their men ran out of ammunition and defeat
was imminent. A beautiful woman appeared and transformed sand into gunpowder.
The fight was won!
In 1922, a neo classical
front was put on. Its main altar is gold plated and the ceiling was painted by
João de Deus in 1927.
Artistic and Historic Museum
Museus de Artes Visuais - Museum of Visual Arts
Address: R. Portugal, 273, Praia Grande.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 9a.m. to 5 p.m.
This typical three story, 19th century mansion, with Portuguese tiles covering
its front, is well worth a visit,not only for its style, but also for the collections
On the ground floor, many 18th,19th and 20th century Portuguese, French and
German tiles are shown. On the first floor, 17th Century sacred works and pieces by 19th and
20th century artists, including Alfredo Volpi, Tarsila do Amaral and Picasso.The
museum also exhibits engravings that used to belong to the Arthur Arthur Azevedo
important art collection.
Museu Histórico e Artístico - Artistic and Historic Museum
This is an especially fine, colonial manor house, built in 1836 and restored in 1973.
Inside, a typical early 19th century, wealthy family residence is emulated, with many
photos, old coins, sacred art, furniture and household items.
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