Historic rescue of the square of the Basílica of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos at Congonhas, Minas Gerais

Luiza de Castro Juste, Patrícia Duarte de Oliveira Paiva


The squares and gardens have always been constructed at the heart of cities, enshrining its history and giving place to the public and private events of the population. The historic gardens contribute to the memory and identity of a people, and can be considered as cultural heritage and living monument and therefore the importance of its preservation. These gardens are present in many localities, especially in the colonial towns of Minas Gerais, which have their roots in the incessant search for gold and the ways traced by the then Royal Road. Congonhas, a town that emerged from the gold exploration, and also from the faith of the portuguese, has enormous tourism potential. It´s history is marked by Aleijadinho masterpiece, which turned it into a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This study had as objective to consider the importance of historic gardens, to study the historical-cultural evolution and landscape of the square of the Basílica Bom Jesus de Matosinhos with emphasis on morphological transformations of the space it occupied, and the social representations found. For this, it was made an exploratory research through site visits, interviews, and literature and iconographic searches. The gathering of the collected data allowed to organize them in the historical process of area occupation and enabled the identification of the main changes that occurred over time. There was no intention of occupying the square, either as a community space, whether as ornamentation until the 1920´s. The idea of beautifying the place came only with the arrival of the Redemptorist Priests in Congonhas in 1923. Since then, several forms were acquired through the garden, including a project by Roberto Burle Marx. The square has a religious purpose and does not load the design of most Brazilian squares as a place of social coexistence of the population or framework from political power.


Historical gardens, Royal Road, Landscaping.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14295/rbho.v21i1.777

ISSN: 2447-536X

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