Top photo: Tadeu Nascimento
A national heritage site since 1940, Conjunto do Carmo, comprising two churches, is considered one of the oldest religious examples of Brazilian baroque. The 18th-century Venerável Ordem Terceira do Carmo church, built by a lay order, is distinguished by its wooden rococo altars, paintings by friar Jesuíno do Monte Carmelo (1764-1819), and by the holy water font, built in 1710. The side altars bear images of Christ on the Way of Sorrows and are considered the most important in the Santos Bay Area for the uniformity of their style. Thanks to these images, the church, consecrated on April 8th, 1760, is known as the Church of the Passion of Christ. Next door stands the Carmelite Convent Church, dating from 1599. The gilded wood altars are in baroque style, adorned with 18th-century devotional images. The presbytery has jacaranda wood pews, used when the brothers make their devotions. Other highlights in this church are the paintings by Benedito Calixto and the very fine candle-holders. On the second Sunday of each month, 11am Mass is accompanied by Gregorian chant. The churches are linked by a bell-tower, creating an unusual façade in baroque art, covered by original 19th-century tiles depiciting scenes of Our Lady.