Church of st francis, belo horizonte, Brazil

Oscar Niemeyer’s glistening white church, with four parabolic arches, commands a striking position on Pampulha Lake. It was finished in 1943 but consecrated only in 1959, due to opposition from the archbishop, who described it as “the devil’s bomb-shelter.” A tiled mural on the north façade depicts scenes from the life of St. Francis of Assisi.

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