The district of Arraial d'Ajuda is contemplated by the sanctuary of and the Church of Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda. The image of the saint arrived in 1549, brought by the Portuguese Jesuits. The religious arrived in these lands in three ships: Conceição, Salvador and Ajuda, that soon after they came to give names to the churches.
The construction of the shrine, which housed the image of Our Lady of Help, began around 1550. As was customary, the hermitages were built in a rather primitive way, with structures of straw. Each one had an altar of greeting to Our Lady with the movable altarpiece, to facilitate its removal.
Only in 1772 the great work of stone and lime was accomplished by the Ouvidor José Machado Monteiro. Since then the temple has undergone several interventions, the most important of which took place in 1999/2000, carried out by the Ministry of Culture and IPHAN - Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage. Already in 2006, after heavy rains in the region, were made restructures in the surroundings and a new staircase was constructed.
Arraial d'Ajuda is marked by a tradition of pilgrimages. On foot or on horseback, in the old days, entire families made their pilgrimages to the locality for the party, which happens every day on August 15th. Behind the church, beyond the exuberant view, there is a source of pure water, considered miraculous by many.
For tourists, the landscape and history of the shrine of Nossa Senhora d'Ajuda can not be left out of the script. For the faithful, it is an unparalleled opportunity to experience and experience some of the oldest and most important Catholic temples in Brazil!
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