Fodor's Expert Review Igreja Nossa Senhora do Carmo
João Fernandes de Oliveira, one of the wealthiest individuals in colonial Brazil, had the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel built as a gift to his mistress, Chica da Silva, a former slave. There are two tales that attempt to explain the bell tower built at the back of the 1751 structure. The first is that da Silva ordered it to be built there so that the ringing wouldn't disturb her. The other is that the construction would allow her to attend Mass, as a law at the time forbade slaves to go "beyond the towers." The altar has gold-leaf paneling, and the organ has 514 pipes.