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CHAPTER IV
Stay in and around Sao Luis do Maranhao

Sao Luis do Maranhao deserves, the view of its population and wealth, the fourth place among Brazilian cities. It lies on the western part of the island, the northern bank of a peninsula, which runs between two coves, the Sao Francisco River to the north and the Bacanga River to the south.

Its oldest and most populous quarter, the neighborhood of Praia Grande, which is the parish of Nossa Senhora da Vitoria, is built by the sea, on very uneven ground.

Old city

The houses, with two or three floors, are mostly built of stonework, and the comfortable arrangement of their interior corresponds to the solid exterior, of bourgeois comfort. But the streets are not well aligned, part on hillsides, and poorly paved or unpaved. The governor's residence has an extensive façade, but it lacks the grandeur and elegance of such buildings. The former Jesuit college, the City Hall and the Public Office occupy the other sides of the spacious square.

In addition, further inland, a second quarter widens in the neighborhood of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao; In general, it consists of houses surrounded by gardens and orchards, among which stands a large barrack

Campo de Ourique

called Campo-de-Ourique. Cornices and ridges came already carved from Lisbon; however, they were deemed too heavy for the resistance of the building, and lie on the floor uselessly. In addition to the two main temples, the city has three churches, two chapels, and the churches of four convents (the Capuchins, Carmelites, mercenaries and the nuns devoted to St. Augustine),

Sao Luis Cathedral

yet another building for the military, and finally, a part of the Holy House of Mercy is for the sick. It should be noted that several of these churches, even in recent times, were built at the expense of private individuals. The Hospital of Our Lady Mother of God, formerly belonging to the Jesuits, was transformed into a Military Hospital.

Sao Luis harbour

The works of defense of this city are very insignificant in relation to the city’s importance, and, besides, they have little equipment.

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