Chapel Of Our Lady Immaculate Conception (Jaqueira, Recife, PE)
Last update: 23/02/2023
Also called “Capelinha da Jaqueira” (Chapel of Jaqueira), the Chapel of Our Lady Immaculate Conception is located near Ponte D'Uchôa, in the current Jaqueira Park. It was the chapel of the manor house of Bento José da Costa. The place became known as Sítio das Jaqueiras (Jackfruit Trees Site) since many jaqueiras existed in that site.
The chapel, under the invocation of Our Lady of Conception, dates to the beginning of the eighteenth century, when the owner of those lands was Captain Henrique Martins. Before him, the land belonged to the former lord of the mill inTorre, Antônio Borges Uchôa, the same man who built a bridge over the Capibaribe River, the so-called Ponte D'Uchôa, linking his mill to those lands.
Henrique Martins and his wife were great devotees of The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception. It is recorded that on one occasion he was stricken with an erysipelas crisis and turned to his patron saint to restore his health. When the captain recovered, he and his wife showed their gratitude by placing an ex-voto with the Lady: a picture of Henrique Martins lying down, covered by a quilt of red and blue branches, with his wife and the doctor around him and, at the head of the picture, an image of the Virgin.
Here lies the colonel
BENTO JOSÉ DA COSTA
Deceased on February 10, 1834, aged 75, whose memory is dedicated by his wife and his eleven children with this monument.
Bento José’s heirs, without the slightest care for the property they inherited, allowed the century-old jackfruit trees to be cut down, and the Sítio das Jaqueiras to be turned into a soccer field. When the site was closed, the land was allotted, and the Jaqueira Chapel remained abandoned in the middle of a large thicket.
It was only not totally destroyed due to the intervention, in 1944, of the National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute (IPHAN). On that occasion, the temple was restored, and a beautiful park was built around it: the park of Jaqueira.
Under the administration of mayor José do Rego Maciel, the famous landscape designer Roberto Burle-Marx designed the landscaping. Even after it was declared a national heritage site, the chapel was ransacked in 1951 and several of its belongings were stolen: two worked rosewood cabinets (from the sacristy) and some doors and windows.
The Jaqueira Chapel is a baroque construction. Its interior is decorated with rare tiles, in the same style as the tiles of the Carmelite and Franciscan convents. The public can appreciate some remarkable sacred panels, with strong strokes and colors, that time has not been able to erase. The linings of the chancel (which evokes the Annunciation), of the choir (focusing on the couple Our Lady and St. Joseph), and of the nave (the effigy of the Patroness) have significant paintings from the late 18th century.
It is also possible to see two large oil on wood portraits of St. Anthony and St. Henry, as well as St. John the Baptist and St. Philip Neri. The altar of the temple is baroque, although presenting some motifs in rococo style. A manuscript in the chancel, dated November 13, 1781, contains a translation of a Brief of Indulgence by Pope Pius VI.
In the sacristy is a relic: a stone washbasin with a long faucet made of bronze, a work of the 18th century. The images from the temple—those that escaped theft and depredation—are stored in the Church of São José do Manguinho.
It is important to point out that the Chapel’s roof tiles, its wood, locks, bolts, and hinges, among other objects that were made of iron and bronze, are original from its construction and date back to 1766. And that, until the 1960s, the park around the chapel was all lit by lanterns, hung from English lampposts.
Recife, August 11, 2003.
FRANCA, Rubem. Monumentos do Recife. Recife: Secretaria de Educação e Cultura, 1977.
GUERRA, Flávio. Velhas igrejas e subúrbios históricos. 2. ed. rev. e ampl. Recife: Fundação Guararapes, 1970.
how to quote this text
VAINSENCHER, Semira Adler. Chapel Of Our Lady Immaculate Conception (Jaqueira, Recife, PE). In: Pesquisa Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2003. Available from:https://pesquisaescolar.fundaj.gov.br/en/artigo/chapel-our-lady-immaculate-conception-jaqueira-recife-pe/. Access on: mês dia ano. (Ex.: ago, 6 2020.)