Tourist Attraction in Congonhas: Santuário do Bom Jesus de Matosinhos
The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos is an architectural and landscaped complex formed by a church, a churchyard and six adjoining chapels, located in the Brazilian municipality of Congonhas, state of Minas Gerais. The church is an important example of the Brazilian colonial architecture, with a rich interior decoration in gold carving and paintings. The churchyard is adorned with twelve statues of prophets in soapstone and the chapels contain sculptural groups in polychrome wood representing steps of the Passion of Christ, statues created by Aleijadinho and his assistants. Other artists of gabarito participated in the construction and decoration works, among them Francisco de Lima Cerqueira, João Nepomuceno Correia e Castro and Mestre Ataíde. The set was built in several stages between 1757 and 1875. Its monumental and monumental setting, following the model of the European "sacrum mounts", has no parallels in Brazil to its height, and the chapels and the chapel house the most relevant part of the legacy sculptor of Aleijadinho. The Shrine is also the center of one of the country's most popular devotions, receiving thousands of pilgrims every year and collecting huge collection of former vows. It has become an icon of the Brazilian Baroque and the state of Minas Gerais, and a major tourist attraction. Due to its superior historical, social and artistic importance, the ensemble was listed as a National Historic Landmark by SPHAN, the current National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (IPHAN), and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985. July 1957 Pope Pius XII elevated the church to the dignity of a minor basilica.