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Church of St Francis

Listed under Contemporary Architecture in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

  • Photo of Church of St Francis
  • Photo of Church of St Francis
  • Photo of Church of St Francis
Photo of Church of St Francis
Photo by flickr user Jeff Belmonte
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"Planning a church has proven an involved problem for contemporary architects. The general tendency is to go back to the old, well worn forms, because of some strange inhibition created by the subject itself. The Pampulha Church, however, had, of necessity, to maintain some spirit which prevails in the other buildings of that locality designed by Niemeyer, and to show a faith in the plastic possibilities of contemporary methods of construction. Two great vaults cover the nave and high altar and dominate the whole composition which develops into successive vaulting at the rear. The bell tower and the marquee at the entrance serve as contrasting elements....The building provoked, however, a great deal of animosity among some people. One mayor went as far as to propose the demolition of the building and its replacement by a copy of the church of Saint Francis in Ouro Preto. Prevented from doing this, he proceeded to have the church filled with altars, benches and pews of miscellaneous origin. Finally, the National Department of Artistic and Historical Patrimony decided to take the church under its jurisdiction, saving it from those who were either unable or unwilling to understand it." - from Stamo Papadaki

Written by  George Monkhouse.

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