São Francisco Square in the Town of São Cristóvão

A remarkable symbiosis of the urban planning of cities of Portugal and Spain

UNESCO World Heritage

An historic city (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

São Francisco Square in the town of São Cristóvão is an urban landscape that reflects the history of the town. 

São Francisco Square (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

Located in the state of Sergipe in the North East of Brazil, the São Francisco Square in the Town of São Cristóvão was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010.

The Square is surrounded by buildings that were constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Together this remarkable monumental ensemble makes up the component parts of the World Heritage site. 

Church and Convent of São Francisco (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

The Square contains the 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.

World Heritage inscription (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

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.

São Cristóvão (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

São Cristóvão was founded at the mouth of the Vaza-Barris River in 1590. It was the first capital of the State of Sergipe and the fourth oldest settlement in Brazil.

São Cristóvão (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

The city was completely destroyed in 1637 by the Dutch. Its reconstruction, started by the Portugese in 1645, was slow but with strong religious ties which can be seen in the city today. 

São Cristóvão (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

São Cristóvão served as a permanent bridge between the cities of Salvador in Bahia, and Olinda in Pernambuco, and as a guard for access to important rivers in the region, which were in constant danger of attack by French pirates.

Outstanding Universal Value (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

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.

An historic city (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

This historic city was, for a long time, the Capital of the State of Sergipe; it was an important trading post for the region and often the staging post for the colonization of the interior regions. It was not until 1855 that the city of Aracaju became the Capital of the State.

São Francisco Square is a quadrangular open space, paved with stone and surrounded by spectacular architecture.

Fusion of urban models, (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

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.

Outstanding Universal Value (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

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.

Protection (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

The São Francisco Square was protected by the state government in 1938 as a historic monument, and several surrounding buildings were listed in the following decades. It was declared nationally by IPHAN in 1967 and its World Heritage designation was in 2010.

Authenticity (2010) by São Francisco Square in the Town of São CristóvãoUNESCO World Heritage

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, amenities and security for pedestrians.

Credits: Story

This exhibit was created by Embratur: www.embratur.gov.br
More on São Francisco Square in the Town of São Cristóvão and World Heritage: whc.unesco.org/en/list/1272/
Photos: Embratur

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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