Bandeira do Brasil

Bandeira do Brasil

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A COLONIAL GEM BY THE MOUTH OF THE MIGHTY SAO FRANCISCO RIVER





Penedo is a municipality in the state of Alagoas in Brazil.


 Founded in 1614, Penedo lies 173 km from the state capital, Maceió. Penedo has many important examples of Portuguese and Dutch colonial architectures, as well as beautiful landscapes. Among its historically significant buildings are its well preserved churches, which were built through the 18th century. Some of these include:
  • Convento de São Francisco e Igreja de Nossa Senhora dos Anjos
    (Convent of Saint Francis and Church of Our Lady of the Angels)
  • Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Corrente
    (
    Church of Our Lady of the Chains - it was named after the "chains" of slavery. The owners, a family of abolitionists, would hide running slaves in a secret compartment until they could escape. This church is lavishly decorated with rare polychrome tiles and gold leaf.)
  • Catedral de Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos, Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Penedo.
    (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Black People's Rosary)
The Casa do Penedo, established in 1992, has as its objective the preservation of the city's artistic and cultural patrimony. In the Casa do Penedo one can find a rich quantity of five centuries of creativity by residents of the São Francisco River Valley.
If you can, stay more than one day to take advantage of the river tours; the boat will take you all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Wear comfortable walking shoes; Penedo was named after the rock it was built on and it's very hilly. The river is very wide near its mouth, but before it gets here it has formed one of the longest canyons in the world. Affectionately called "Velho Chico" (Old Chico), the river is 2,700 kilometers long, flowing through five states: Minas Gerais, Bahia, Pernambuco, Sergipe, and Alagoas, the sertão of so many books, stories, legends, and songs... In Bahia it has a flood plain like the Nile; planting manioc crops and pottery-making (with the clay obtained by digging holes for the plants) are all done according to the cycles of flood and receding waters.
The river is navigable for a 1,700-kilometer stretch and you can actually do this on a "hotel boat."  The "Velho Chico" is also famous for the "carrancas" or figureheads on its boats. The real ones are becoming more and more difficult to find and were the subject of an exhibit in Rio in 2002; you can pick up a reproduction in Penedo to help ward off evil spirits around your home...
Sources: Maria-Brazil


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