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São Francisco Square in the Town of São Cristóvão

São Francisco Square in the Town of São Cristóvão

São Francisco Square, in the town of São Cristovão, is a quadrilateral open space surrounded by substantial early buildings such as São Francisco Church and convent, the Church and Santa Casa da Misericórdia, the Provincial Palace and the associated houses of different historical periods surrounding the Square. This monumental ensemble, together with the surrounding 18th- and 19th- century houses, creates an urban landscape which reflects the history of the town since its origin. The Franciscan complex is an example of the typical architecture of the religious order developed in north-eastern Brazil.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Place São Francisco dans la ville de São Cristóvão

La place São Francisco, dans la ville de São Cristovão, forme un quadrilatère à ciel ouvert, entouré d'édifices imposants anciens tels que l'église de São Francisco et son couvent, l'Eglise de Santa Casa da Misericórdia, le palais provincial et les demeures associées de différentes époques autour de la place. Cet ensemble monumental, avec les maisons du 18e siècle et du 19e siècle avoisinantes, crée un paysage urbain qui reflète l'histoire de la ville depuis son origine. L'ensemble franciscain est un exemple de l'architecture typique de cet ordre religieux qui s'est développée dans le nord-est du Brésil.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

ساحة ساو فرانسيسكو في مدينة ساو كريستوفاو

تشكل ساحة ساو فرانسيسكو في مدينة ساو كريستوفاو مساحة مفتوحة رباعية الأضلاع محاطة بأبنية قديمة بارزة مثل كنيسة ودير ساو فرانسيسكو، وكنيسة الرحمة و"البيت المقدس" التابع لها، فضلاً عن القصر الإقليمي، والمنازل المحيطة بالساحة التي تعود إلى حقبات تاريخية مختلفة. وتمثل هذه المجموعة المذهلة، مع ما يحيط بها من منازل بُنيت في القرنين الثامن عشر والتاسع عشر، منظراً حضرياً يعكس تاريخ المدينة منذ تأسيسها. ويُعتبر مجمع ساو فرانسيسكو مثالاً على الأسلوب المعماري التقليدي الذي اقترن بالنظام الديني في شمال شرق البرازيل.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0



source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Площадь Сан Франсиско в городе Сан Кристовао

Площадь Сан Франсиско в городе Сан Кристовао представляет собой четырехугольное открытое пространство, окруженное монументальными зданиями храма Святого Франциска и монастыря, церкви и Санта Каса да Мизерикордия, дворца в провинциальном стиле и других построек, относящихся к различным историческим периодам. Этот монументальный ансамбль и окружающие его дома восемнадцатого-девятнадцатого веков создают городской пейзаж, отражающий историю города со времен его возникновения. Он является примером типичной архитектуры религиозного характера, сложившегося в северо-восточной Бразилии.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Plaza de São Francisco en São Cristovão

La plaza de São Francisco en la ciudad de São Cristovão forma un cuadrilátero a cielo abierto rodeado de imponentes edificios, como la iglesia y convento de São Francisco, la iglesia y la Santa Casa da Misericórdia,el palacio provincial y sus viviendas asociadas de diferentes periodos históricos. Este conjunto monumental, unido a las casas de los siglos XVIII y XIX que lo rodean, crean un paisaje urbano reflejo de la historia de la ciudad desde sus orígenes. El complejo franciscano es un ejemplo de la arquitectura típica desarrollada por esta orden religiosa en el nordeste de Brasil.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


source: NFUAJ

São Francisco plein in de stad São Cristovão

São Francisco plein is een vierkant open plein omgeven door gebouwen, zoals de kerk en het klooster van São Francisco, de Santa Casa da Misericórdia kerk, het provinciale paleis en de bijbehorende huizen uit verschillende historische perioden. Dit monumentale geheel vormt – samen met de 18e en 19e-eeuwse huizen eromheen – een stedelijk landschap dat de geschiedenis van de stad weerspiegelt sinds haar oorsprong. Het Franciscaanse complex is een voorbeeld van de typische (Franciscaner) architectuur die ontstond in Noordoost-Brazilië. De stad São Cristóvão werd in 1938 uitgeroepen tot historisch monument door de provinciale overheid.

Source: unesco.nl

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Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The São Francisco Square, in the town of São Cristóvão, in the North East of Brazil, is an exceptional and homogeneous monumental ensemble made up of public and private buildings representing the period during which the Portuguese and Spanish crowns were united. The São Francisco Square constitutes a coherent and harmonious ensemble which merges the patterns of land occupation followed by Portugal and the norms defined for towns established by Spain. Established in accordance with the length and width required by Act IX of the Philippine Ordinances, this square incorporates the concept of a Plaza Mayor as employed in the colonial cities of Hispanic America, while at the same time inserted in the urban pattern of a Portuguese colonial town in a tropical landscape. Hence, it may be considered a remarkable symbiosis of the urban planning of cities of Portugal and Spain. Relevant civil and religious institutional buildings, the main one being the complex of the Church and Convent of São Francisco, surround the square.

Criterion (ii): The São Francisco Square represents the outcome of the merging of the modes of territorial occupation and settlement of Portugal and Spain according to which urban settlements were established in their respective colonial empires. This property exhibits an important fusion of urban models, which occurred during the unification under one crown of two rival Empires.

Criterion (iv): The São Francisco Square is an outstanding example of harmonious and coherent architectural ensemble that has been preserved as a social landmark of the town and a place for important cultural and social manifestations. It shows a paradigm of integrated rational town planning and adaptation to the specificities of the local topography.


The integrity of the property is sufficient as the attributes necessary to convey its Outstanding Universal Value are encompassed in its boundaries. These attributes are intact and complete and are not under threat.


The Square and associated buildings within the nominated property are authentic in terms of the way they portray their historical and social significance within the life of the town. Works to the Square itself have retained its characteristics while improving the infrastructure, amenity and security for pedestrians.

Protection and management requirements

The property and its buffer zone enjoy sufficient and adequate legal protection that has been improved throughout the years to ensure their proper conservation. The architectural and urban ensemble was protected by the Federal government by procedure 785-T-67 of 31 January 1967, in the framework of Decree - Law 25 of 30 November 1937. At the State level, the ensemble was registered as Historic Monument by Decree Law 94 in 1938, supported by Article 134 of the new State Constitution. In 1967, the Architectural, Urban and Landscape ensemble of São Cristóvão was registered on the Archaeological, Ethnographic and Landscape Protection Book, on page 10, number 40. The buffer zone corresponds to the historic centre of the town of São Cristóvão and is protected at state and national levels.

Appropriate management policies are in place, among which an Urban Plan devised with the participation of stakeholders, including the local population and religious orders. However, the management structure and procedures could be improved by the development and implementation of a management plan for the property and the increase, diversification and improved skills of the staff involved in it. The Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (IPHAN), through its regional office, is responsible for the physical conservation of the property, while the local government is responsible for land use and compliance with planning regulations.