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Tourist attractions in São Luís, Maranhão

«São Luís

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.
Today 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.
The story 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
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 exhibited inside.
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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