Churches of Olinda

Known for its cultural and historical features, the churches of Olinda are something that tourists should never miss when visiting the city.

As many of them are centuries old already, the city’s churches are one of the manifestations of its rich and colorful culture. Below are some of Olinda’s prominent churches:

Church of Mercy

The Church of Our Lady of Mercy was built in 1540 as ordered by the Crown of Portuguese. It is a small Catholic church looted and burned by the Dutch in 1630. When the Flemings left in 1654, the church was then restored and had its fellowship rebuilt.

The church has retained its original facade throughout the years; it has kept its general Baroque features and Renaissance embellishments which is reminiscent of the Portuguese’ stay in the city.

Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Built by the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Men Pardos in 1613, the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is situated along the Largo do Amparo. Two decades after it was constructed, it was destroyed by a fire that was started by the Dutch. It was then rebuilt in 1644.

Compared to other churches in Olinda, the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help features a number of side altars.

St. Francis Convent

The St. Francis Convent is also known as the Church of Our Lady of the Snows. Its initial construction started in 1585 as a project of Friar Francisco dos Santos. It is Brazil’s first Franciscan establishment. The convent boasts of beautiful carved wood ceilings and paintings of the 18th Century. Its architecture has wowed many visitors as well.

Church of Nossa Senhora do Desterro Convent of Santa Teresa

Simply known as the Church of Our Lady of the Exile, the church was erected in the 17th Century. It was built after the country’s victory against the Dutch in the Battle of the Montes Tabocas.

The church’s architecture is of Baroque style. Its facade has a niche stone that has in it the image of Saint Teresa of Jesus; its altars have beautiful gilt carvings of Saints.

Church of Santa Cruz dos Milagres

One of Olinda’s simplest churches, the Church of Santa Cruz dos Milagres has been erected in 1862. It has an austere facade with a bell tower and a central door. On its high altar lies an image of the Our Lady of Sorrows. It has two side altars containing an image of Our Lady of Miracles and other saints.


Olinda may not have beaches as famous as that in Rio and other famous cities in Brazil but its churches give it its identity and unique feature. Something that makes it worth everyone’s visit.