Goiana in Pernambuco was founded in the 16th century has eight churches listed by Iphan and the Museum of Sacred Art maintains a secular collection.
The administrative centre of one of the first and most prosperous hereditary captaincies explored by the Portuguese at the beginning of the colonial period (1500-1822), the Metropolitan Region of Recife still holds historical treasures that go beyond the geographical limits of the Capital and neighbouring Olinda, a World Heritage Site since 1982.
GOIANA IN PERNAMBUCO
One of them is located about 60 kilometres from the two sister cities that are Olinda and Recife, in the centre of Goiana, a municipality that is part of the Zona da Mata Norte, another cultural cradle of the state, and which developed on a piece of land inherited from the former captaincy of Itamaracá.
There, more than beaches such as Catuama, Ponta de Pedras and Carne de Vaca, there is a sacred and artistic heritage that is little recognised on tourist routes.
A belt of seven churches dating back to the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries surround the urban area in a radius of less than one kilometre.
The Pernambuco town of Goiana is one of the oldest centres of settlement in Brazil, having been the seat of the hereditary captaincy of Itamaracá, elevated to the category of ‘freguesia’ in 1568, and later becoming a hub for several sugar mills.
During the Dutch invasion, the region of Goiana was the scene of several confrontations, one of the most memorable of which occurred in 1646, when women defended the village of Tejucopapo from a surprise attack by the Dutch, and repelled them without the help of the Luso-Brazilian troops, who had not been able to arrive in time.
The fact was marked in the history of Brazil (little publicised, unfortunately), and the women became known as “Heroines of Tejucopapo”.
Also in the region of Goiana lived André Vidal de Negreiros, who had a sugar mill and was one of the main leaders in the fight against the Batavos.
After the expulsion of the Dutch the city grew again, becoming home to two convents, a Santa Casa de Misericórdia, as well as several other churches.
Videos Baroque Churches and Museum of Sacred Art from Goiana PE
CHURCHES OF GOIANA PE
IGREJA DE NOSSA SENHORA DO AMPARO DOS HOMENS PARDOS
It was built in 1681 and restored in 1870.
On the high altar, the image of Our Lady of Amparo was a gift from Princess Isabel. There is also the tombstone of Jerônimo de Albuquerque, a hero from Pernambuco, and his wife.
Listed by Iphan as a National Historic Site in 1938.
For many years, the building functioned as a temporary museum that exhibited pieces of sacred art dating from the 17th century, which recently migrated to the building of the Social Service of Commerce (SESC).
Location: Rua do Amparo | Praça da Bandeira | Goiana/PE.
IGREJA DE NOSSA SENHORA DO CARMO E CONVENTO DE SANTO ALBERTO DE SICÍLIA
Built in 1672, the church is in the Mannerist Baroque style. It has hardwood images from the 16th and 17th centuries. One of the convent’s most noteworthy features is the richly carved and painted entrance hall.
The complex also shows elements of Arab architecture through symmetrical and light features, especially in the towers.
To the left of the high altar is a small chapel dedicated to Bom Jesus dos Passos with the image of Our Lady of Tears.
It belongs to the Carmelite Order and has been listed by Iphan as a National Historic Site since 1938.
Location: Praça Frei Caneca | Praça do Carmo | Goiana/PE.
IGREJA DE NOSSA SENHORA DA CONCEIÇÃO
The church was built in the Baroque style in 1807.
The high altar has an image of Christ in the upper niche and an image of Our Lady of the Conception in wood carving in the lower niche.
The high altar is made entirely of wood in white and blue. It has two side altars.
It has been listed by Iphan as a National Historic Heritage Site since 1938.
Location: Rua da Conceição | Centre | Goiana/PE.
IGREJA DE NOSSA SENHORA DAS MARAVILHAS
Probably built in the second half of the 20th century, it has three façades and three doors to access its interior.
It is a curiosity that has aroused the attention of visitors who come to know a little about the history of the heyday of Goiana, at the time of Colonial Brazil and find a typically Germanic church, in the most authentic half-timbered style, a type of construction quite common in rural areas of Germany, used as protection to prevent the concentration of snow on the roof.
Location: Usina Maravilhas | Goiana/PE.
IGREJA DE NOSSA SENHORA DA MISERICÓRDIA
Its foundation stone dates from 22 September 1722. Its construction, however, was not completed until 1726.
It has five images, four balconies, two altars and a wooden choir.
The high altar contains the image of Our Lady of Miracles and the sacristy has a washbasin made of Portuguese stonework.
Years later, construction began on the Santa Casa Hospital, attached to the church and the first hospital in Goiana (1759-1931).
The hands of Father Pedro de Souza Tenório, martyr of the Pernambuco Revolution of 1817, are buried in the chancel without a tombstone.
The church’s architecture has a simple late Baroque composition. It was listed in 1938 by IPHAN as a National Historic Site.
Location: Rua da Misericórdia | Centre | Goiana/PE.
IGREJA MATRIZ DE NOSSA SENHORA DO ROSÁRIO DOS HOMENS BRANCOS
Built in the 17th century in the Baroque style. Originally designed with two bell towers, the Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Rosary of the White Men did not have sufficient funds to complete the second tower.
Only the Gospel tower was completed, similarly to the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of Black Men.
The decoration consists of altars with images by Brazilian master craftsmen from the 17th and 18th centuries, especially the images of Our Lady of the Rosary, Saint Joachim, Saint Joseph, the Dead Lord and Saint Michael.
In addition to the rich images, there are two paintings in the church: the first, on the altar of the Blessed Sacrament, reproduces the scene of the Last Supper; and the second, depicting the crucifixion of the Saviour, in a niche of the chancel altar.
It has been listed by Iphan as a National Historic Heritage Site since 1938.
Location: Avenida Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca | Centre | Goiana/PE.
IGREJA DE NOSSA SENHORA DO ROSÁRIO DOS HOMENS PRETOS
The present church was built in the late 17th century on the site of a small chapel that existed there in the 16th century, in authentic Baroque style.
An inscription dated 1836 on the church façade indicates a commemorative event held that year.
In the past, many religious and folkloric events were held in front of the church.
It has been listed by IPHAN as a National Historic Heritage Site since 1938.
Location: Rua do Rosário | Centre | Goiana/PE.
IGREJA E CONVENTO DE NOSSA SENHORA DA SOLEDADE
The convent’s style is a transition from Baroque to Mannerist.
Inside, there are three side altars with niches and saints.
On the high altar is the image of Our Lady of Solitude.
It has, as a rarity, a wheel for collecting alms, which was used at the time to receive orphaned and destitute children.
It also has three wooden images, all Brazilian from the 18th century. Attached to the church is the St Joseph’s Shelter for the elderly.
The complex has been listed by Iphan as a National Historic Heritage Site since 1938.
Location: Rua da Soledade | Praça da Soledade | Centre | Goiana/PE.
IGREJA DE NOSSA SENHORA TEREZA D’ ÁVILA DA ORDEM TERCEIRA DO CARMO
In Baroque style, the Church of Santa Tereza D’Ávila was built in 1753 by the brothers of the Third Order of Carmel.
It is part of the Carmelite complex in the historic centre of Goiana.
The upper part of the façade bears the coat of arms of the Carmelite Order. It has no bell tower.
The interior has a single nave with four side altars and six niches with images of saints. The church has been listed by Iphan as a National Historic Site since 1938.
Location: Frei Caneca Square | Centre | Goiana/PE.
CAPELA DE SANTO ANTÔNIO
Its construction began at the end of the 16th century and it has undergone several internal and external transformations, currently displaying aspects of the 1654 renovation in the Gothic style, an architectural movement born in France in the 12th century under strong Muslim influence.
In the chapel was buried in 1680 the body of the field-master André Vidal de Negreiros, leader and inspiration of the Pernambuco Insurrection (1645-1654) against Dutch colonisation in Brazil.
His remains were later transferred to the Church of Nossa Senhora dos Prazeres, in Monte dos Guararapes, where they are still today.
Location: Engenho Novo | Unisa das Maravilhas | Goiana/PE.
History – Goiana (PE)
Located in the Mata Norte region of Pernambuco, Goiana was inhabited by the Caeté, Tabajara and Potiguara Indians. Originating from one of the oldest colonisation centres in the Northeast Region, it was elevated to the category of village in 1711 and city in 1840.
It took part in the liberation movements in the Province of Pernambuco and became known as the first Brazilian city to free all its slaves by means of a decree of the Chamber of Deputies on 25 March 1888, in anticipation of the Golden Law.
In Itapecerica – one of its villages – the first assembly took place in which Indians pleaded for a representative government in Brazil.
During the 19th century, commercial activities were of great importance in the municipality, thanks to the movement of its port, through which goods from the interior were transported.
The town was initially located on the plot donated by the King of Portugal to Pero Lopes de Souza, and was part of the Captaincy of Itamaracá. In the second half of the 16th century, the first mills were founded, despite the hostility of the Tabajara and Caeté Indians.
Some of these mills were destroyed by the Indians, a fact that motivated the organisation of conquest expeditions composed of Portuguese from Paraíba.
Goiana was one of the major poles of colonisation in Brazil, with the installation of production bases and symbolic facilities (of the State and the Church), becoming an important economic and political centre in the 18th century. It was characterised as a point of convergence of numerous transport routes, due to its functions as a river port for the flow of brazilwood and sugar cane production, a trading post and a crossing point for the roads that connected Recife and Olinda to the interior of the state and to other towns and cities in the Northeast.
Tourism Guide of the Northeast