The simple beauty of Nossa Senhora de Prainha church, Fortaleza

Wandering about beautiful Fortaleza, the capital of the Brazilian state of Ceará, I stumbled on this church that captured my attention for its elegant simplicity. Its bright white and light blue tones, inevitably reminding Portuguese Catholic style, are a clean, pleasant sight to be enjoyed against the azure sea in the horizon. This is Igreja Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Prainha, and stands between shopping street Rua Monsenhor Tabosa and cultural centre Dragão Do Mar. Simple and candid-white, this is one of the places to visit in Fortaleza.

Visiting Nossa Senhora de Prainha church in Fortaleza, Brazil

Nossa Senhora de Prainha church in Fortaleza, Brazil
Facade of Nossa Senhora de Prainha church

Apart from being a church, it’s also an education centre to form priests and clergy. Built in 1841, the seminary within the church was founded in 1864 by the first Bishop of the city, Dom Luís Antônio dos Santos.

Despite this church being pretty and the fact that now locals love it, I can’t refrain from thinking that it’s one of the many symbols of Portuguese colonization in a moment of history when Europeans considered themselves the only possible way to both God and civilization. Fortunately, time has proved them wrong.

I’ve been coming to Brazil for some twenty years, and little by little I’ve been thinking I would like to spend more time exploring this country that although it has a fairly new history, hides some pretty interesting cultural and traditional pearls.

This pastel-hued church gives a peaceful vibe both outside and inside. Its facade is white and embellished with blue tiles, while it interior is decorated using warm colours. In proper colonial style, it’s very simple and down-to-earth. Perfect place to visit as a tourist as well as for praying.

Visiting Nossa Senhora de Prainha church – Useful info

Address: Av. Monsenhor Tabosa, S/N – Praia de Iracema
Opening hours: Daily 8 am-12 pm and 1-5 pm, Saturday only 8 am-12 pm.
Entrance fee: Free.

7 thoughts on “The simple beauty of Nossa Senhora de Prainha church, Fortaleza”

  1. What a beautiful church! I love the simplicity of its facade – white with the blue tile accents. It’s very calming and almost feels like it should be a seaside church. Looking forward to reading more about your Brazilean adventures.

  2. You know, when I’m in European cathedrals – in Portugal and Spain, especially – I can’t help but think about how much of the splendor is stolen from countries once colonized – and often brought about with violent means. Beautiful structures, to be sure – but also sad.

    • True, very sad. All magnificent palaces have sad stories behind, most of the times stories of forgotten people. European palaces in colonized countries are the symbol of colonization, and although now they are monuments to visit, I think it’s still pretty fresh in collective memory..


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