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Monastery of Saint Antonio

Monastery of Saint Antonio

The Monastery of Saint Anthony of Rio de Janeiro is located at the "Largo da Carioca", on the hill of St. Anthony. The convent (together with the nearby Church of the Third Order of St. Francis of Penance) is one of the oldest and most important remaining colonial assemblies in Rio de Janeiro.


In 1592, the first Franciscans friars coming from "Espírito Santo" arrived in Rio de Janeiro were they initially settled in a modest house. In 1607 they were granted possession of the hill "morro do Carmo", now known as Morro de Santo Antonio, were they began building the monastery in 1608. The first architect was the brother Francisco Santos, but several other religious-architects Franciscans interfered in the work. The first Mass was held in 1617, with the church of the convent still under construction, only in 1620 the church was completed. One of the requests of the Franciscans towards the city was to fill up the lake in front of the hill, but that request was only fulfilled in 1679 after repeated requests of the Franciscans. Between 1697 and 1701 the front of the church was widened and three arches were added by brother Fransisco da Porciúncula. In the second half of the eighteenth century the arches were replaced by baroque portals carved in limestone. From 1716 to 1719, Father Lucas of San Francisco extended the chapel, by adding lanes, galleries, etc.. In 1777, Brother Martin de Santa Teresa transformed the three arches into three doors, with doorframes carved in marble from Lioz (Portugal). Between 1920 and 1923 a disastrous reform (by Brother Ignatius Hinte) of the facade took place, replacing the old frontispiece of the early XVIII century by one in neo-colonial style. Also roof of the nave was increased and bigger part of the tiles were torn out. In 1980 another restoration took place to undo the changes of 1920/23.The convent has had several changes throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries until Father Manuel de São Roque decided to do a complete reconstruction in 1750, this reconstruction took place between 1774 and 1777. In 1779/81 Brother Boaventura de San Salvador Cepeda finalized the reconstruction. A little stone chapel was build above the gatehouse and a statue of St. Anthony was placed in the niche.
The Sacristy of the Convent is maybe  the most beautiful Rio, the magnificent baroque chest was carved by Manuel Alves Setúbal in 1745. There are beautiful baroque Portuguese tiles and on the ceiling paintings tell the story of St. Anthony.

Monastery of Saint Antonio

Largo da Carioca Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil

Phone: +55(21)2262-0129

Latitude: -22.90708
Longitude: -43.179236
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