Fodor's Expert Review Igreja de São Francisco de Assis
Considered the masterpiece of Brazilian sculptor Aleijadinho, this church was begun in 1766 by the Franciscan Third Order but wasn't completed until 1810. Aleijadinho designed the structure and was responsible for the wood and soapstone sculptures on the portal, high altar, side altars, pulpits, and crossing arch. Manuel da Costa Ataíde, a brilliant artist in his own right, painted the panel on the nave ceiling representing the Virgin's glorification. Cherubic faces, garlands of tropical fruits, and allegorical characters carved into the main altar are still covered with their original paint.