This week’s photo is of the Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
This photo was taken in April 2010, on my very last day spent in the city. I spent the morning touring various churches and museums and this happened to be one of them. The inside of the church is just as lovely as the outside.
According to Wikipedia:
The Candelária church is a Latin cross church with a dome over the transept. The main façade shows Baroque influences in the design of the windows, doors, and towers, as well as Neoclassical influences in the bi-dimensionallity of the façade and the triangular pediment. The façade contrasts the dark granite of windows, columns and other elements with whitewashed wall segments, a typical characteristic of colonial churches in Rio. The nave has three aisles and a main chapel in the apse.
The whole ensemble seems inspired by the church of the Convent of Mafra and in the Estrela Basílica of Lisbon, both in Portugal.
Sadly, this church was also the site of a very terrible event that came to be known as the Candelaria Massacre. On July 23, 1993, several policemen opened fire at some street children who happened to sleeping near the landmark. 8 children died in the incident. Of all the police put on trial for the crime, only 2 were convicted for this horrible injustice and human rights violation.
This tribute now stands outside the church, in order to honor the memory of those who died. I teared up upon hearing this story and taking this photo. 🙁
A lot has been published about the massacre – for more information, view the Wikipedia page.