Igreja de São Francisco
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The Church of Saint Francis
I was in the Ribeira district of Oporto. I wanted to see the Gothic and Baroque Church of Sao Francisco. So I wandered into the church that was listed as one of the most important and beautiful churches of Oporto. It was said to be very ornate. I was mesmerized by the beauty of this huge edifice with the elaborately decorated interior said to have more than 300 kilos of gold dust covering altars and other decorative surfaces. I stood there and tried to think of the work involved in completing this church. It must have been a huge undertaking ( as were so many of the monuments the world over). The church was built originally as a small building in 1245 by the Franciscan friars in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. In 1383, a much larger church was built.It was finished about 1425. The structure is a basic Gothic church with the large rose window. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Baroque architecture was added. The Franciscan friars were buried in the catacombs which you can visit. There is also an ossuary with thousands of human bones. The interior is very large and you need at least an hour to peruse this monument. This is an attraction that you should not miss while in Oporto.
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