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The Saint Sebastian's Sanctuary: neocolonial sacral architecture in Porto Ferreira (SP)

Grant number: 17/10236-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2017
Effective date (End): August 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning
Principal Investigator:Vladimir Benincasa
Grantee:Beatriz Fernanda Carvalho
Host Institution: Faculdade de Arquitetura, Artes e Comunicação (FAAC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil


This essay attempts to recognize and comprehend the architectural and artistic elements of Saint Sebastian's Sanctuary, in Porto Ferreira, a city of São Paulo founded at the end of the 19th century, when the Republic was already established and the State was deliberately secularized. Its first main church, financed mainly by the Companhia Paulista de Estradas de Ferro (São Paulo's Railway Company) and by the Municipality of Descalvado (a district which belonged to the parish of Porto Ferreira until the year 1892), was built in 1886, a decade from the political-administrative emancipation of the municipality, having Saint Sebastian as its patron. This first temple lasted 65 years and housed just over 200 churchgoers. The church was demolished in the early 1950s, when industrial growth and the ensuing migration led to the development of the "Pottery Capital", as the city became known. From the old church remained only a marble baptismal font and countless images of saints, which are still used today in processions and novenas. Replacing its predecessor, the New Main Church was consecrated before it was even built, in November 1953, by the Bishop of Campinas, Dom Paulo de Tarso Campos. With capacity for 600 people, three times larger than the previous one, and projected by Benedito Calixto de Jesus Neto, it was completed in 1962, when they finished the painting at the bottom of the altar, work of Bolognese Antonio Maria Nardi. In November of 2013, the church was promoted to Sanctuary by Dom Vilson Dias de Oliveira, Bishop of Limeira, for its artistic value and for reports of graces obtained through the intercession of Saint Sebastian. Bruno Zevi defends a critical description of the monuments preceded by the study of four assumptions: the social, the intellectual, the technical and the figurative/aesthetic. Associated, one by one, to the singularity of the contexts, the sets form the framework that allows meanings to be revealed beyond architectural materiality, such framework bases subsequent analysis - urbanistic, volumetric, of decorative elements, architecture and scale. From these elements, it is intended to proceed to the understanding, to the survey, to the analysis of the object, getting to the final conclusions. (AU)

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