Church of Our Lady of Penha, Rio de Janerio, Brazil
Recently Bob and I took a short trip to Orcas Island and while we were wandering around in the Village one afternoon we stepped into a small secondhand shop where this photo postcard caught my eye and curiosity. It is an unused card with photo credits to Wilson Gelatti. It is an Impresso o Brasil por: Ediotra Litoarte Ltda. This Roman Catholic Church is known as Ingreja de Nossa Senhora da Penha or in English, the Church of Our Lady of Penha. Card identifiers on the reverse of the card: RPC RJ-031.
Archbishop José Bothelho Matos of São Salvador da Bahia, had the church built in 1742 as an extension to his summer palace. After his death in 1767 it was left to the Archdiocese. Between 1813 and 1916 various Catholic brotherhoods used the church and grounds. Today it is the property of the Archdiocese. The church, located on the end of the Itapagipe Peninsula faces the Bay of All Saints. The National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute added the church and the palace to its listings in 1941.
Constructed in stone and brick masonry the church exterior is Roccoco style decorated with pieces of azulejos. The church has a single tower. Inside are three Baroque-style altars and there is an elaborate painting by an unknown artist in the nave. The church and palace grounds also include lovely gardens. The palace is connected to the church by a roofed gallery. Unlike other churches in the area it is surrounded by beaches and in a tamarind tree lined residential neighborhood.
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