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The church of São Matias was raised in Alcântara before 1648 in the place where already a chapel constructed for the Maretin indian had existed, and a church in homage São Bartolomeu. In the turn of séc. XIX for séc. XX already it was in ruins and it threatened to fall down.

Alcântara was one of the biggest centers of wealth of the Northeast region during the periods of Brazil Colony and Brazil Empire. Its constructions and monuments of the time, exactly in ruins, are attractions visited for thousand of tourist every year. Its cultural and historical importance for the Country made with that City-Monument in 1948 was considered. In century XVII, there the first devices of sugar cane-of-sugar had been constructed, what it transformed the city into a producing polar region of foodstuffs and facilitated the sprouting of the economic elite, politics and intellectual. The construction of the building and monuments that still today decorate the city was carried through from century XVIII.

The economic prosperity lasted until the abolition of the slavery, when the majority of the proprietors of farms declared insolvent. The city then entered in a vertiginous process of decay, that also led to the abandonment and the consequent degradation of the property. Few buildings remain preserved and are important samples of the colonial architecture. Other constructions, between churches and small palaces, had become ruins with the action of the time and plunderers.

Its tourist points can be visited the foot during calm strolls for its sidewalk of rock. Going of boat, from São Luís, the attractive ones soon start in the Port of the Alligator, going up the slope with the same name, that leads to the heart of the city. The plaza where if they find the ruins of the First church, the old chain and the pillory can be covered in one day.

Thanks for visits.

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Additional Photos by Antonio Negrao (aznegrao) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1484 W: 111 N: 1576] (10316)
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