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Church of Bonfims

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This is the most famous Catholic church in Salvador. In the 18th century, a Portuguese captain is said to have vowed to build a church dedicated to the Lord of Bonfim (or ‘good end’) upon his ship’s safe arrival on the Brazilian coast.

The building was constructed in 1754 in a Baroque style. Over the years the church became associated with healing and began to attract pilgrims, who return each year to honour the Lord of Bonfim. There is an annual feast in January, when pilgrims process through the streets of Salvador before receiving mass in the church. Tied onto the railings outside the church are thousands of multi-coloured wish ribbons, a Brazilian good luck charm.