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São Francisco Church and Convent / © Rosino/Flickr

Salvador’s Regal São Francisco Church in 8 Pictures

Picture of Georganne Hassell
Georganne Hassell
Updated: 26 March 2017

The church and convent of São Francisco in Salvador is among the most beautiful in not only Salvador, but the whole state of Bahia. It boasts stunning details and an intense amount of gilded woodwork. Built in the 18th century, it maintains much of the original ornate décor. If there’s one church you see in Salvador, this should be it.

The church square is relatively simple, but inside the church has an immense amount of detail in its décor waiting to be discovered. With its gilded woodwork and intricate paintings, São Francisco Church and Convent is believed to be the richest church in all of Brazil.

The walls, archways, vaulted ceilings and pillars are all ornately decorated with gilt woodwork and paintings – a distinctive feature of the church. Much of the décor features angels, birds and foilage.

These blue tiles were created in Lisbon, Portugal and are called azulejo tiles, which are typical in colonial churches throughout north-eastern Brazil. The azulejos in this church, however, are larger than most and decorate the two-story cloisters.

São Francisco church is considered to be one of the best and most complete examples of Brazilian-Portuguese Baroque artwork and earned its status as a historic structure from the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage in 1938.