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Mural made of Portugese tiles in Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia | by Frans Harren
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Mural made of Portugese tiles in Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia

Official name is Church of Our Lady of Luz (Luz is the Portuguese word for Light, illumination).

The Church and the hospital were built in 1540; the hospital was called Santa Casa de Misericórdia (Holy House of Mercy), and was the first hospital in Brazil.

The church is located at the Alto da Misericórdia (Heights of Mercy), towards the higher part of Olinda. Access is usually by the Ladeira da Misericórdia (Ladder of Mercy), which is the steepest hill in Olinda. The ladder is paved with cobbled stones (from colonial times), which get slippery when wet; notice that even though there is a stairway in the sidewalk, the olindenses advise to walk up the streets, which would be less tiring.


The Church has the second richest altar of Olinda, second only to the Monastery of São Bento. From the floor to the ceiling, the altar is adorned with masterpieces.

Near the main gate, there is a wall with Portuguese tiles from the 17th century.


The Hospital da Santa Casa da Misericórdia was founded before of 1540. In 1631, the church and the hospital was burnt down during the Dutch invasion. Since 1654 it was partly restaured. The construction of this architectural complex was completed in stages at different periods. In the sacristy there is a magnificent marble baptize basin made by Portuguese stonemasonry.


See: Olinda

Veja: Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia


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Taken on October 11, 2009