The Convent and Church of Santa Teresa, in Salvador-BA, was listed for its cultural importance.
In 1665, a convent of Carmelitas Descalças is founded in Bahia, whose works are conducted by Friar José do Espirito Santo, in a place where there was a small church dedicated to Santa Teresa, the convent being inaugurated in 1686 and the church completed in 1697.
The convent develops around a square cloister, where the church occupies one side, taking over the rest of the complex.
The church has a plan typical of the Roman Jesuits, with a transept and nave of equal height, a dome at the intersection and intercommunicating chapels. Attributed to Friar Macário de São João, the church's design features a galilee with three arches, typical of Benedictine and Franciscan constructions.
Its façade, in classical lines, is inspired by the Roman model by Vignola, being a unique case of this type of composition before the end of the XNUMXth century in Brazil.
The fidelity to this typology even causes the tower to be replaced by a sword, mounted on the side wall of the nave. In 1837, the Archbishop's Seminary was installed in the Convent of Santa Teresa. The current main altar, made of silver, comes from the old Cathedral, demolished in 1933.
The building houses the Museum of Sacred Art, maintained by the Federal University of Bahia, with around 1.400 pieces in the collection – including wooden and terracotta images, sculptures, paintings, tile panels, silverware and furniture – dating from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century.
In 1959, the UFBa Museum of Sacred Art was installed, considered the largest collection of sacred art in the country.
Address: Rua do Sodré, nº 25 – Pelourinho, Salvador BA
Video about the History of the Convent and Church of Santa Teresa
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History of the Convent and Church of Santa Teresa
The Museum of Sacred Art of the Federal University of Bahia was installed in the Convent and Church of Santa Teresa.
The church and convent of Santa Teresa resulted from the disciplinary reform of the Carmelite order, carried out by Santo Alberto, with the help of Santa Teresa de Ávila and São João da Cruz.
The Order of the Discalced Carmelites was authorized in 1665 to settle in Bahia, in the place called Preguiça.
The first group of monks, from the province founded in Angola, built a wooden hospice there.
This group was composed of Friar Manoel de Santo Alberto, Friar Jerônimo de Santo Alberto, Friar João das Chagas and the lay brothers Friar Francisco da Trindade and Friar Antônio da Presentation, under the priory of Friar Joseph do Espírito Santo.
The hospice's wooden facilities served as temporary housing for the religious for nine years, as they still did not have a license to found the convent.
The exact date of the replacement of the hospice by the definitive convent and church, erected in a higher place, is not known.
Documents from 1680 already referred to the construction, but notified that there was little alms to continue it.
Without any foundation or proof, several authors attribute the design to the Benedictine architect Friar Macário de São João. Of the materials used in construction, it is known that some stones, such as those in the pulpits, came from Portugal.
Most, however, were obtained locally. There was a quarry at the foot of Ladeira da Preguiça and, according to some authors, the religious set up their crane there to transport materials.
In 1686, already in greater numbers, the friars were able to move to the new convent.
The new church, however, was only ready at the end of the XNUMXth century, when it was opened in honor of the patron saint, Santa Teresa d'Ávila. Friar Antônio de São José was then prior.
On that occasion, the image of Nossa Senhora das Mercês was transferred, today in the small chapel at the exit of the transept of the church, which had already been described by Friar Agostinho de Santa Maria.
The church and convent were officially opened on October 15, 1697.
With the active religious activity of the friars, the church was enriched with valuable pieces of tiles, paintings, carvings, implements.
In the struggle for Independence, eight friars and two brothers, all Portuguese, got involved with people from the community accused of collaborating with the Lusitanian faction.
In 1836, there were only a few remnants of the Terésios in Bahia.
The presidency of the province and the surviving religious agreed to give new use to the dying convent, with the installation of the seminary in Bahia, in 1837.
Convent and church of Santa Teresa were incorporated into Mitra, with the extinction of the Order of Discalced Carmelites of Bahia, by effect of the Provincial Law of June 2, 1840, sanctioned by the president of the province, Tomás Xavier García d'Almeida.
Despite the imperial ban, in 1855, on the admission of seminarians, the minor seminary ended up being installed in buildings attached to the buildings of the Santa Teresa complex, in 1858.
Transformations were then carried out by Companhia Predial Baiana, under the command of the French engineer FP Lenoir.
In 1888, the administration of the seminary passed to the Vincentian priests or Congregation of the Missions of the Lazarists, of Paris, being rector the priest Júlio José Clavelim.
During this period, according to information from Valentin Calderón, the convent of Santa Teresa underwent modifications that harmed the architectural appearance of the building, hiding the original with several other constructions.
Interior walls were torn down and doors were opened, depriving the building of its character.
In this set of interventions, some works of art suffered severe losses, such as the removal of the original main altar from the church, around the 1890s, replaced by another concrete one, demolished in the reform promoted, in the XNUMXth century, by the University of Bahia. .
As can be seen, the convent was occasionally occupied by various entities from an early age.
The Brazilian Academy of Reborns was installed in this convent.
During the Independence struggles, in 1823, it was occupied by General Inácio Luís Madeira de Mello and by Brazilian troops.
Around 1840, it hosted the Agricultural Society, which was already installed there when the seminary was created.
The Philomatic Society of Chemistry, the former "botica", used the seminar from 1849.
During the eviction of the seminar, the School of Economic Sciences operated on the premises of the convent, installed by Rector Edgard Santos, creator of the University of Bahia.
In 1969, on the occasion of its transfer from Rua 28 de Novembro to the Canela neighborhood, the School of Fine Arts also spent some time there.
Shortly before that, in 1966, the Museum of Art of Bahia was temporarily established there.
It was the aforementioned rector Edgard Santos who made the best use of this monument, after the Carmelites themselves.
The Carmelites' valuables, confiscated by the provincial government, under what allegation is unknown, were under the custody of the Casa Pia dos Órfãos de São Joaquim, later passing into the hands of the rector of the archepiscopal seminary.
In 1839, they were requested by the president of the province, Tomás Xavier Garcia, in addition to the other assets that were under the custody of the provincial treasury.
A few pieces were left for the service of the church of Santa Teresa, and the rest, without much use, were distributed among the poor parishes, notifying the fact to the archbishop.
In 1846, it was ordered that these assets pass to the deputy commissioner of the Holy Land in Salvador, Friar Manoel de Maria Santíssima do Rosário, along with all the real estate, furniture, furniture, images and adornments.
Some properties were auctioned and converted into aggregated policies, with other properties, to the seminary's assets.
The minor seminary operated in the convent of Santa Teresa until 1953. Shortly afterwards, on March 6, 1958, an agreement was signed between the University of Bahia and the archdiocese of Salvador.
Negotiations suffered some delay, with the University assuming the commitment to restore and preserve the monument, respecting the spaces protected by heritage laws, for use for cultural purposes and university activities, and allowing religious cults regulated by Canon Law.
Approved by Iphan, the works still suffered interruptions, as Cardinal Dom Augusto Álvaro da Silva did not agree with the installation of a center
cultural space in the convent, although he approved the restoration of the building, but for the installation of Carmelite nuns.
IPHAN was firmly against the cardinal's position and sent a program to use the former convent and church to Bahia.
This program was designed by an unnamed architect from the University of Bahia, in collaboration with Renato Soeiro, from IPHAN.
The Heritage gave Wladimir Alves de Souza the task of advising and supervising the works.
The then president of Iphan, Rodrigo de Melo Franco de Andrade, collaborated in the museum's implementation process, demanding that the works were constantly supervised by the architect Fernando Leal, but the official person in charge of monitoring the works ended up being Diógenes Rebouças.
The execution of the works would be up to the engineer Geraldo Câmara, among other people in charge.
Before starting them, at the request of the rector Edgard Santos, the curator of the Vatican Museum, Deoclécio Redig de Campos, should be expected to participate in the organization of the exhibition rooms of the future Museum of Sacred Art.
In the restoration of the buildings, the outbuildings not listed by the Heritage were removed, enclosing the convent in a well-walled land, including the former building of the minor seminary.
The works brought some revelations, such as the painting on the old ceiling of the cafeteria, covered with a new ceiling, damaged by the previous removal of some
boards between the beams.
Oil paintings were also discovered on the semicircular ceiling of the chapel in the corridor, next to the church and on the ceiling of the noble cell, whose window opens onto the chancel.
With the Museum of Sacred Art restored, a discussion arose about the collection to be exhibited, as many components of the archdiocese were against the loan of pieces.
On the occasion of the inauguration of the museum, on August 10, 1959, pieces from the Curia collection were on display, as well as others donated or borrowed, including some furniture, paintings and other objects from the Museum of Évora.
The IV International Colloquium on Luso-Brazilian Studies was then held, which brought several specialists in the field of Portuguese and Brazilian history to Salvador.
Created by Rector Edgard Santos, the Museum of Sacred Art formed its initial collection with artistic pieces owned by the Curia, most of which came from the demolition of the old Sé church, destroyed in 1933 to make way for the tram.
Until then, these pieces were deposited in the old library of the Jesuits, in the cathedral.
For a few years, Dom Clemente Maria da Silva-Nigra, a Benedictine and art researcher, was at the head of the museum's management.
During his tenure, several pieces from the collection of the São Bento monastery were on display for public visitation.
With the restoration of the Benedictine ensemble, starting in 2005, this collection returned to the monastery, which constituted its own museum.