São Cristóvão

The historic centre of São Cristóvão in Sergipe is in a good state of preservation, with flat streets that invite you to take a walk.

History and architecture are highlights of São Cristóvão in Sergipe

Brazil’s fourth oldest city is 23 kilometres from the capital Aracaju. Praça São Francisco was considered a Unesco heritage site.

Tourists who are in Sergipe will be enchanted when they leave the coast of warm waters and travel about 30 minutes to the municipality of São Cristóvão, 23 kilometres from the capital Aracaju.

Visitors can get to know the history, architecture and flavours of a city that keeps alive the traditions accumulated over centuries of existence.

The fourth oldest city in Brazil, with 422 years, and the first capital of Sergipe, São Cristóvão has as its symbol the São Francisco Square, which was recognised as a World Cultural Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).

The city still hides in its streets and hillsides the history of Dutch invasions and great architectural creations, which make the place a walk in history.

Folklore is passed down through the generations and keeps alive the typical dances such as: Reisado, Chegança, Caceteira, Langa, São Gonçalo, Barcamateiros and Samba de Coco.

The best time to visit São Cristóvão is in the morning, when museums and churches are open.

Afterwards, visitors can walk around the city and get a closer look at the beauty of its architecture, emphasised by the colonial mansions that still preserve their facades.

The cobbled streets are also impressive for their conservation. Visitors who decide to visit the city in the afternoon should keep an eye on the clock, as the visitation sites are open until 4pm, and most traders follow the same schedule.

Among the most popular places to visit is the Historical Museum of Sergipe, located in São Francisco Square.

It is in the 18th century building that the main elements that help tell the story of Sergipe are housed.

The collection brings together relics such as the famous painting by Horácio Pinto da Hora, which depicts Ceci and Peri [they are the main characters of the novel, O Guarani, by the writer José de Alencar], furniture, documents, coins, crockery and other objects that reveal the importance of São Cristóvão in the historical context.

Also from the São Francisco square, visitors can visit the church and convent of the same name, run by the Carmelite sisters, and the Museum of Sacred Art, which has one of the most complete collections in the country.

It is worth visiting the Santa Casa de Misericórdia building, which became an orphanage in 1911 and in 2001 was transformed into the Home of the Immaculate Conception Order.

Close by is the main church, Nossa Senhora da Vitória, patron saint of the city, which was built in the 17th century, between 1608 and 1616, and the church of Nosso Senhor dos Passos, also from the same century, which has the Ex-votos museum in its annex.

Next door is the Church of the First Order of Carmel, under renovation, and the Carmel convent, where Sister Dulce, beatified on 23 May 2011, spent a few months in 1933.

In the small room where the nun spent her days, it is possible to find replicas of personal objects and documents about her time in São Cristóvão.

The place is open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm. The convent is currently run by the Carmelite friars.

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