Nossa Senhora da Lapa dos Mercadores Church

In the hustle and bustle of the centre you will find this church, with a mountain of history behind it

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Nossa Senhora da Lapa dos Mercadores Church

A small church but a big symbol of the city

Despite its small dimensions, this temple has a lot of history. It is situated in central Travessa do Comércio and its construction dates back to 1743, when the residents and traders of the area decided to construct a church in honour of Nossa Senhora da Lapa dos Mercadores, sometimes referred to as the Traders' Church. Its construction dragged on for over a decade, and it was not until some forty years later that its finished interior could be seen, crammed with rococo motifs, amongst Antônio de Pádua e Castro’s woodwork. In the 1870s it underwent an important renovation, which allowed it to withstand enemy attach without much damage. This was put to the test during the Brazilian Navy Rebellion in 1893. The main impact on the church was the collapse of its 25 metre statue in the belfry. Miraculously, the monument remained practically intact which is why it is now exhibited, next to the grenade, in the sacristy of the church. Another anomaly from the 19th century reform, was an enormous medallion, found buried in the ground directly behind the temple. This medallion represents the Coronation of the Virgin and still decorates the main facade to this day.

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