One of the richest churches in Olinda, Mosteiro de São Bento in Olinda was the second Benedictine Monastery built in Brazil (the first one was the one in Salvador). During 24 years, the building also housed the first law school in Brazil.
Construction of the monastery was finished in the late 16th century, but fire set to Olinda by the Dutch in 1632 destroyed the building. Remnants were torn down and a new monastery built in the 18th century.
The monastery's architecture covers several periods and styles. Among the outstanding features are the facade, with its spires, bellfry, Order of St. Benedict coat of arms, volutes and tall doors, and the main altar, with gold leaf inlays and rococo, neoclassical and baroque elements.
The richly ornamented presbitery has panes depicting scenes from St. Benedict's life and crystal mirrors. In the choir, there is a lifesize image of Christ crucified.
Benedictine monks still live at Mosteiro de São Bento and on Sundays, there is Mass with Gregorian chant at 10 a.m.
Rua de São Bento
Olinda - PE
Open daily 9 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. and 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Mass daily at 6:30 a.m. and on Sunday at 10 a.m. with Gregorian chant