Paróquia Nossa Senhora a Lapa

Florianopolis, Brazil | C.1763

Photo Credit: @ricardorossetti

The Paroquia Nossa Senhora da Lapa – the Church of Our Lady of Lapa – has undergone many renovations throughout its history, however its beginnings were of simplistic origin. A stunning structure with clean lines and symmetrical design, the church was first erected in 1763 using stone, lime, and whale oil.

Located in the Ribeirao da Ilha District in Florianopolis, Brazil, Manoel de Vargas Rodrigues built the Church on his farmland for his family and the surrounding community. In total, the Church took 43 years to complete and was consecrated in 1806.

Throughout the 19th century, the Church required funding for its numerous repairs. In 1840, a request was sent to the President of the Province “to meet urgent repairs on the roof and in the sacristy of the church, almost in ruins”. Despite the dilapidation, the Church would later receive 400,000 reis from the Emperor Dom Pedro II – the second and last emperor of Brazil. Fittingly, his nickname during his reign was “The Magnanimous”.

The Church has recently undergone restorations to its structure, but many of its original features remain. Within its stucco façade, three windows with arched lintels and solid wood frames hover above its main entrance. Topped by a prominent iron cross, the Church also has two towers, including one bell tower. Inside, the central painting on the ceiling depicts the Sagrada familia – the Catholic basilica in Barcelona – along with the Magi, and Christ on the cross.

Today, the Church of Our Lady of Lapa and its surrounding region is classified as a Cultural Preservation Area. Still a place of worship to an active parish, the Church is regularly open for mass on Sundays and Fridays.

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