Igreja São Francisco
The São Francisco Church and Convent - a high-baroque cathedral, located in downtown Salvador - quite simply, has to be seen to be believed. Funded by the sugar barons of the area, and built between 1708 and 1723, the cathedral's interior is literally plastered with gold - over 100 kilograms of it, mainly in the form of sculptured gilt woodwork; while precious stones and Sistine Chapel-like paintings adorn the ceiling, and elaborate gables, volutes and curlicues round out the baronial look. Best viewed in the evening, when - as the daylight dies - the cathedral begins to glow, the São Francisco Church and Convent is one of the most important examples of what is known as 'churrigueresque architecture' in the whole of Brazil, and should not be missed. Allow at least an hour to fully absorb the cathedral's considerable splendour.
Address: Lgo Cruzeiro São Francisco
Telephone: (0)71 3322 6430