Also known as Pampulha Chapel, the São Francisco de Assis Church opened its doors in 1943, but it was only truly recognized by Church authorities 14 years later, in 1959, due to some debate regarding its unorthodox shape.
Considered avant-garde, the Church is a small masterpiece of the Pampulha Architectural Complex. It was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer and its interior houses the famous Via Crucis, consisting of 14 panels of Cândido Portinari.
The Church also features the Burle Marx gardens, the bronze bas-relief sculptures carved by Alfredo Ceschiatti, and an abstract panel created by Paulo Werneck. The exterior is decorated with more beautiful Portinari panels, made in white and blue tiles, depicting Saint Francis next to a skinny dog, instead of the traditional wolf.
The originality and boldness of Niemeyer consolidated this church as a true modern age landmark. It was the first Brazilian church with modernist traces, and its vertical and horizontal curves mesh together in unique and perfect harmony.
Mass begins at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays.
Av. Otacílio Negrão de Lima, 3000 – Pampulha – Belo Horizonte
One of the best ways of visiting the Church is by taxi. Go to the BHTrans website to access the list of taxi companies.
Several bicycle rental spots are available throughout the city via the Bike BH app, available in Portuguese, English and Spanish for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.
Check the BHTrans website for more information on bus lines to Pampulha.