Chichen Itza
Gebel Berkal

World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

São Francisco Square

São Francisco Square
Photo provided by Michael Novins

São Francisco Square in the town of São Cristovão is an open space surrounded by a monumental architectural ensemble. The quadrilateral square measures 51x73 metres.

The most prominent monuments around the square are:

- São Francisco Church and convent (begun in 1693)

- Church and Santa Casa de Misericordia (18th century)

- Provincial Palace

The structures are Spanish-colonial in appearance, as they derived from the Ordinances of King Philip II, at a time when Portugal and Spain were under the same crown. São Cristovão is a river port and a former provincial capital.

Map of São Francisco Square


  • Cultural

Community Reviews

João Aender Campos Cremasco Brazil 15.07.11

São Francisco Square is located in São Cristóvão, a small town close to the capital of the State of Sergipe - Aracaju. It is rather an ordinary square, like so many others in Northeastern Brazil, with a simple church and a religious museum on its side. What UNESCO suggested to be extraordinary is that the square was designed in 1590 according to Spanish Ordinations, something unique in Brazil and it was to the fact that, at that time, the Portuguese and the Spanish Crowns were united under Philip II. There's a couple of other 17-Century churches nearby and a humble museum of the State of Sergipe - São Cristóvão was its first capital, and nothing more. It is difficult to understand why UNESCO chose this city to have the same status of Olinda, Salvador or Ouro Preto, majestic colonial cities. If you really want to collect this WHS, Aracaju is well served with internal flights and, by land, is not far away from Salvador.

Share your experiences!

Have you been to São Francisco Square? Add your own review!

Site Info

Full name: São Francisco Square in the town of São Cristovão

Unesco ID: 1272

Inscribed: 2010

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 2   4  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2010 - Inscribed 
  • 2008 - Revision Reduced from former TWHS Les couvents franciscains du nord-est brasilien (1996)
  • 2008 - Referred boundaries, conservation management


The site has 1 locations.

  • São Francisco Square


The site has 7 connections.



Religion and Belief