Our Lady of Mercies Church


Description:Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Mercês (Our Lady of Mercies Church) is located in the high part of Mercês Street, at the corner with Silvério Lessa Street in the Arraial de Cima neighbourhood, in the municipal district of Diamantina. The construction by foreman and carpenter José Manoel Freire began in 1778, in the chancel, and the Church was partially concluded on April 19, 1784. It originated from a dissention between members of the Irmandade de Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos do Tijuco (Our Lady of Rosary of the Black from Tijuco Brotherhood), and the desire of the members who left the brotherhood to set up a new one: The Irmandade de Nossa Senhora das Mercês (Our Lady of Mercies Brotherhood). The Church, located at a street corner with a small churchyard, is quite outstanding, with its high central tower with hip roof and tiles in the gable. The longitudinal floor plan consists of nave, chancel, a sequence of rooms and a back sacristy. On the second floor are the pulpits, the choir and a series of rooms surrounding the chancel. The sober front façade and the tower stand out. The portal is also very simple. Inside, the chancel is the most richly decorated part, with its retable and rococo paintings in the ceiling.

Situation:The Church belongs to the Archdiocese of Diamantina and maintains its original purpose, to be a temple for Catholic cult. In the 1930’s, a reform recovered the entire church nave. According to the data from a field work done in 2002, this building is in a good state of conservation.

Inventory information:This building was listed on December 6, 1949, process 409-T-49, registration number 333, in the Fine Arts Book, vol.1, p. 70.

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Drawings: (1)