Map of Eglise et Monastère de Sao Bento, Rio de JaneiroLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
When we visited in June 2015 the monastery was undergoing extensive restoration, with the church interior almost completely hidden by scaffolding. Sadly the ornate baroque interior is the defining feature of this monastery. So I don't really have a huge amount to say. The exterior is fairly nice, and the whole complex, despite sitting on top of a hill, is hidden from the bustle of downtown Rio.
The glimpses of gold decoration and writhing statues certainly seemed impressive, and the pictures of the interior offered ideas about how awesome it will look when uncovered. We had a walk around several other ornate Portuguese baroque churches nearby to get our fill of gold studded gloom, so we had some consolation.
The monastery has sat on Brazil's T-list for quite a while so I'm not really sure if it will ever move towards inscription, but perhaps this current restoration is part of the preparation for a potential listing.
Downtown Rio isn't included in the already inscribed cultural landscape, and seems to be somewhat overlooked in favour of the more known charms of the southern beaches, however I rather enjoyed my slow morning walking around and having a languorous breakfast at Confiteria Colombo. There are a further two other sites within walking distance on the t-list so perhaps this corner of the city will become a real South American hotspot.
[Site 3: Experience 3, it was closed for restoration though]
1996 Added to Tentative List
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