Convento das Mercês, São Luís, State of Maranhao, Brazil

The Convento das Mercês, which was placed under the invocation of Our Lady of the Assumption, although the people did not call it this way, began to be built in 1654, when the Mercedarians João Cerveira (Maranhense de Alcântara) and Marcos Natividade arrived in São Luís, Coming from Belém, who joined the friars Manoel de Asuncion and Antônio Nolasco, as well as the layman João das Mercês. It was erected there in straw-covered taipa. The following year, in additional terrain, they rebuilt the installations in stone and lime, building the chancel.

With the Independence of Brazil (September 7, 1822), began a process of emptying the property that resulted in its abandonment. Only in the middle of the nineteenth century the street will undergo interventions, earmarking its space for the headquarters of the Lesser Seminary. On May 5, 1905, the building was sold to the Government of the State of Maranhão, which attempted to make new interventions in the original architecture, reversing even the fronts of the convent and the annexed church (that led to the sea) and Conferred the unique facade unit.

The interventions were the responsibility of Lieutenant Colonel Zenobio da Costa. The motive was simple, the location would house the Military Police and State Fire Department barracks, which remained there until the late 1980s, when the battalions were transferred to the current headquarters.

With the exit of the militias, the property underwent new reforms (1987-1990), during the Government of Coffee maker. The main entrance faces Rua Jacinto Maia, protected by palm groves. Before, its main facade facing the river. The annexes that removed the work were removed, the original arches and the well discovered. In this restoration, the foundations of the demolished church were found. Today, with 5,800 m² of built area, the Mercês Convent holds a rich museological and bibliographical collection, and was considered one of the Seven Treasures of São Luís.

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