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A wide street, with imposing houses, goes up to the Theater, whose balconies enjoy a beautiful view of the entire bay and the harbor. The middle part of the city, built on high but slightly low ground, contains, among the regular streets,

Government Palace

several spacious squares, distinguishing it from the Government Palace. The architecture of this and the buildings nearby, the Casa da Camara, the Mint, the Court of Relations, is simple, without style, and in view of the jail, underneath a part of the Palace, inside which they hear the clink of chains and voices of the prisoners, giving this stretch of town a lugubrious impression. Many of these unfortunates, including some whites caught in those jails, are escorted day by day; performing public works on the streets, a service censured by the black slave owners themselves, because they insist that the physical contrast of the races should also be recognized.

Former Jesuit College

The most notable building in the Upper City is undoubtedly the former Jesuit College with its adjoining church.

Jesuit church

The latter, which serves as its own, replaced an old ruined building, and today, by its architectural conditions, is the most dignified and sumptuous temple in all of Brazil, a monument of the power and opulence of its builders. Some paintings by Spanish masters, the bronze choir decorations, the precious gilded altars, and an excellent organ were brought from Europe, and the rich tortoise-tufted panels that adorn the sacristy came from the East Indies. In the Library, which belonged to the Jesuit College, are the remains of these artistic pieces. Thanks to the zeal of the former governor, the Count of Arcos, one of the most notable statesmen, whose liberal and literary tendencies are still gratefully acknowledged in Bahia, was able by lotteries to add to this Library a valuable collection of new works on all subjects, so that today its total goes to more than 12,000 volumes. This institute is open most of the day, however, and little frequented. Most of the Jesuit College is now occupied by the Military Hospital. The other churches of Bahia, in number more than thirty, are almost all of styleless architecture, and only the new construction of the Italian Capuchins, a beautiful temple with zimborio, deserves mention for its architectural pomp; pity for the effect of the facade with its multicolored tiles. Among the convents of the other religious orders, which exist there in large numbers, none are distinguished by beauty of style; many, however, are noted for the uniqueness of the ornaments, or the size. The Casa da Misericordia, the Surgical School, installed in Rio de Janeiro, the recently built Orphanage for Whites, and the Archiepiscopal Palace, are vast buildings.

Casa da Misericordia