Church of Our Lady of Pópulo

Church of Our Lady of Pópulo

Founded in the mid-17th century

Possibly the first stone and lime construction in the city, it is the only one of its kind in all of Southern Africa. In the annals of history, it is said that European burials were held there until 1838 when the city cemetery was opened. It was founded in the middle of the 17th century and is classified as a National Historic Monument.


JUSTIFICATIVE MEMORY OF ITS CLASSIFICATION AS A MONUMENT OF ARTISTIC AND HISTORICAL INTEREST TO BE PRESENTED TO THE ANGOLA NATIONAL MONUMENTS COMMISSION 1 9 4 7

CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF THE POPE OF THE CITY OF S. FILIPE OF BENGUELA

I  

In the tricentennial city of S. Filipe de Benguela, was the Church of Nossa Senhora do Pópulo, the only temple that attended the wickedness of the times and the abandonment of the faithful. Others who rose or collapsed here under the precarious decrepitude of precarious materials or were dismantled by the alleviation of men insensitive to the spiritual outbursts of faith and emotions aesthetics of architecture.  One hundred thirty-one years after the foundation The factory of this beautiful temple was completed in the city. presumably, the first stone and lime construction that was built here. The construction system hitherto in use, and which still prevailed in the great most cases, until thirty-five years ago, were adobe.

 The date on which he had started the work and it is also unknown who outlined his plan.  What is best known in its history is what does the lap of the eardrum of the main door, but which only tells us the name of the person who raised it and the date of its function. This inscription says the following verbatim:  "THE INFANTRY CAPITAM VIEIRA DE LIMA QVE WITH FERVOR & ZELO FES THISWORK SO PIA ASKS OUR PRIEST& HOLY MARY BENE FVNDATA EST DOMVS DEI PRIMO DIE NOVEMBRIS ANNO 1748 "

In the two centuries of its existence, which complete next year, the building has been repaired several times and some additions and modifications were made,  In 1869 a clock was placed in one of the towers and in 1895 ceilings were applied, according to recorded news in the book “A FAMOSA E HISTORICA BENGUELA”, by Ralph Delgado.  

Standing out from the general factory and primitive church, there are some attached bodies, with service dependencies or subsidiaries of the cult, built after the foundation and whose times of are unknown, with the exception of the last, which was built a few years ago years and which, fortunately, has not been concluded.

The current sacristy, attached to the north side façade, must be one of the enlargements of the building, although it can only be judged by its appearance, disjointed from the general structure and characteristic style of main building, unless it has suffered mutilations transformed the primitive feature and may mislead us

.   Leaning against the south side facade, there is a building body, architecturally disconnected from the central core of the building by the discontinuity disconnected from the central core of the building by discontinuity of frames and more elements that characterize the style and the conformation of its coverage.

This body includes a chapel and two rooms overlapping, constituting, as its configuration must have been made in two distinct phases and eras, to be evaluated by profile differences observed on the eaves and on the other hand.  

Another annex is found, leaning against the posterior facade, of lines called modernists, whose construction began in 1939 and is paralyzed and it is to be desired never to be carried out, for constitute, an outrageous irreverence towards the respect due to a work 18th century Baroque architectural style, the most beautiful and characteristic of that time that exists in Cologne. For this, defilement, there can be no better finish than the one that the daredevil launched on venerable relics of the past that once ennobled the land of Angola.

  II  

The composition of the church plant in Nossa Senhora do Pópulo is very simple, like most small temples of the Portuguese provinces. It consists of a single nave, the chancel and two side chapels at the tops of the cruise.   At the angles of the main facade with the closed on the side, two bell towers rise; the Northwest angle is baptistery at the level of snow and in the space between them is located the choir, halfway up the building.   Along the North side facade and corresponding to the nave, there is an ark over which extends a gallery with pillars, giving access to the choir, pulpit and bell towers of the towers. At same facade and in the space corresponding to the main chapel body there is an annex consisting of two ground compartments, serving one vestibule and the other sacristy.  

On the south side facade, leaning against the main chapel, there is a building body comprising two overlapping rooms, used for catechesis and meetings, and the side chapel.   In the main chapel body, behind the altar, there are two overlapping compartments; at the top the throne is armed; the bottom currently serves as a fundraiser, presuming it was once the sacristy, before the annex of the north façade that is now uses for this purpose.   Leaning against the rear facade stands a few years ago the anachronistic construction that has already been mentioned and it needs to be demolished.  The interior of the church is very sober. At the nave's walls are smooth and plastered, presenting as the only relief, in the birth of the ceiling, a strong cornice of plastered masonry, which extends to the triumphal arch.

This and the two of chapels of the cruise are perfect round and very simple in their ornamentation. The floor of the nave is floored, probably from the beginning of the century past, after no more burials were done in the church. The ceiling is lined with wood, since 1895, as already mentioned, ignoring as if presented before that date. The stucco on the walls is painted and divided with false tights imitating marble ashlars.   The main chapel walls look similar to the ship. The cruise floor and the main chapel are tiled and its roof is plastered with embossed ornaments. The walls of the outbuildings attached to the church they are simply towed and whitewashed; the floors are tiled in the compartments on the ground floor and floored in those on the upper floor, serving these from the ceiling of the lower dependencies. The roof of the sacristy is lined with whitewashed coarse; the ceilings of the first floor compartments are not covered.

  Outside, the finishing of the walls is even poorer than in the interior, because all the vestments and Embossed surfaces are simply plastered and whitewashed. Only the main portal is furnished with stonework, in the set formed by the numbeiras, lintel and pediment; the ornaments that surpass this cornice are already, however, mortar and whitewashed.   The architectural composition of facades lacks unity, in which they may not have been partly strangers, the transformations and growth of ancillary dependencies of the church. For counteract this deficiency, there would be a conscientious restoration or, more appropriately, an integration of the facades in the characteristic style of the time of the foundation of the building, and which is clearly shown on the front and towers.   It is in this part of the construction that embodies the high intrinsic value of the work, which is revealed in the Portuguese of its Baroque style and that neither the imperfections of the form nor the technical frustrations, nor the poverty of the materials manage to steal expressiveness and emotion.

  The architecture of the frontispiece is of pleasant proportions and sober in its composition.   The vestment that supports the nave is flanked by two bell towers, in its alignment and only highlighted by the pilasters that define and strengthen wedges. In the center the door opens, with soberly carved stonework and beautiful proportions, which is added above the pediment in relief enriching its composition. Flanking this finish are two windows that illuminate the chorus, and a cornice develops over them that bypasses the towers.       The front is surmounted by a elegant pediment, with polycentric curves with volutes at births and finished off by a split cornice. At the base of the pediment, an oculus opens polylobulated, with a stained glass window.   In the towers that rise at the angles, below the general cornice, there are niches of concoid vault and above that an attic offering the particularity of having the pilasters divided by fins, while smoothly below

.   The bell towers rise over the attic, quadrangular, covered by domes with lanterns.   On the side façades, the towers have a composition identical to that of the anterior face, but have the singularity of having greater width in the part below the cornice than in the one above it. And how the enlargement was done only to one side, resulted in an asymmetry and in the mismatch of the axis of the upper spans in relation to the lower ones. On the face of main facade, the towers offer yet another architectural anomaly, since the bottom pillars do not exactly match the top ones and have unequal widths, the outer corner being narrower. It also occurs a lack of symmetry and the axis of the niches is not in the vertical of the axis of the spans higher.   The cause of these architectural defects is not quite clear, ignoring whether it resulted from any execution error or the poor conception of the plan or even the lack of any layout, this, the work may have been performed by improvisation or by a simple imprecise and non-scale design.   Of the other facades, the one that offers The greatest architectural interest is the North side, in the part corresponding to the nave, which features an arcade of four arches sober to which there is a gallery with strong mainels supported the cover and with five intercolumns furnished with wood screeds.

  This set, which fits well with the architecture of the frontispiece and the towers, is a living expression of the feeling characterizing many overseas constructions and from some regions metropolitan areas, particularly in the southern provinces.   It is a mix of conventual flavor, popular and tropical, to which the wooden brawls and the curved tiles certain Moorish corner.   The dryness that, however, now presents some details, makes suspicion of mutilations or misguided repairs. Nothing more remarkable is observed in this façade, and there is no other mention to be made about it except how detestable it is the bulky and uncharacteristic zinc-covered annex that serves as a sacristy, p which shape with the beautiful body of the arcade and gallery, on one side, and with the spurious construction leaning against the rear facade, on the other side, the most anachronistic and damnable contrast.   There is nothing to emphasize from the rear facade and nothing more than the gables of the building on the show architectural project that a few years ago foolishly rose up there and that is, its lines, the antithesis of the church's graceful baroque style.   The south side facade is accentuated architectural poverty, and the body itself adjacent to the main chapel, that closer to the lines dominant aspects of the building, it is disconnected from the whole and without interest private.    

  III

  The Interior ornaments are few and not very sumptuous, in general, and of different times.   The ornamentation of the main altar is molded in stucco, developing around the arch of the throne, which is surpassed by a pediment of graceful curved lines with various decorative motifs, and flanked by two pairs of columns with entablature of the Corinthian order.   The ceiling of the chancel, in the form of masseira, it is also plastered with finials in the center.   The side altar of the Gospel in the cruise. has a composition similar to that of the main altar, with slight differences in form, but it is simpler and of the Ionic order; is also built in molded stucco.   The poverty of the material with which are built, further accentuated by the rawness of their natural color, these altars have a graceful and harmonious aspect, which contrasts with the dryness of the ceiling and smooth walls of the nave and with the heavy eyelets that finish them off.   The ornamentation of these altars must be somewhat recent, certainly after 1877/80, since the Governor of Benguela Alfredo Augusto Ferreira de Melo, who ruled that triennium, made the church this reference: “it is a well-built building, completely stripped of ornaments, the chias are indispensable to feed devotion ”.  

The decoration of the side chapel of Epistol is very poor and uninteresting, consisting only of a fund of wood with arches and paneling, painted in two colors.   The ornamental work more valuable than the church encloses is, without a doubt, the beautiful pulpit with carving, in carved wood, of graceful cutout and rococo reliefs, and which will certainly have no other comparable in Angola.   Of appreciable artistic interest, there is also the balustrade web that separates the nave from the cruise, the bulkhead of the chorus and railing of the baptistery, with elegant turned columns, in varnished dark wood, like the pulpit.

  There are no written news from the provenance and the date on which all these ornamental wooden pieces were applied to the building, but affirms the tradition that comes from the city of Baia, in Brazil - what to believe, given the fact that there was once great contact between this colony and the one bordering it on the other side of the Atlantic, and that only long after the independence of the latter decreased from intensity.

  Another notable decorative work is the lavatory of the sacristy, of carved and polished marble, in two tones, with ornaments framed in robust architectural forms, in a set typically baroque sculptural. In another artistic genre, there is the highlight a small and delicate stained glass window, exquisitely colored, recent work signed by Ricardo Leone.   How interior adornments can it should also be noted four screens of some merit and a few images and furniture of appreciation.   Cumulating these works of art, still the church some precious pieces silverware. inside which looms a magnificent front of the finely chiseled altar.  

IV

  Building in the middle of the 18th century, the Church of Nossa Senhora do Pópulo de Benguela, reflects in its outline the spirit and the environment aesthetic of its time, which at that historical moment marked the Portuguese nation one of the culminating points of art, synchronous with the thrill of splendor and euphoria that under the reign of D. João V brought the overseas wealth.   It is at this time that it blooms with new brightness and with ethnic personality our plastic inspiration.

It is this centuria, with Manueline times, that the illustrious art historiographer Spanish Marquez de Lozoya considers the golden age of Portuguese architecture.     An unusual artistic exaltation encouraged in that century the whole country, and for all the metropolitan lands, from north to south, boiled a building anxiety that translated into a countless series of new times, palaces and villas, sumptuous some, simpler others, and almost all of them from an unmistakable national, who made tradition and which they did not stay strange the whimsical form, the grace of the ornaments and the typical color of the facades, in a conjunction so grateful and shaped to the aesthetic temperament Portuguese. The fruit of this feverish constructive activity is so evident lavishly that Marques de Lozoya provided this reference: “Without exaggeration we can say that in its monumental aspect the whole of Portugal is the work of the 18th century. with some trace of earlier times ”.  

A constructive movement so vast proportions, even though mobilizing an incalculable number of workers, forced to adopt more expeditious construction systems and more accessible materials than that those that until then used to be used in buildings of a certain category and sumptuousness. The palaces, temples and other architectural monuments in whose factory until then used to use the railroad, started to be built with materials that are easier and faster to prepare, generally applying to he would sing only on the reliefs and decorative elements of the facade. Greatly number of cases the transformation was even more radical, totally dispensing the worked stone and also adopting the masonry for the works' flavors, which would then be highlighted with appropriate coloring.   Although poorer in structure, these works, as a rule, lose their artistic value. And even the replacement itself, partial or total, of the materials must have contributed to the characterization or differentiation of national architecture in the Baroque period, recognized by Art critics.  

This special feature, more than inspiration and popular character, revealed itself mainly in the Province and Overseas, where the poverty of resources or the lack of beds and good stone To plow forced the use of masonry. It was the opulent sap of the treasures from Germany, India and then more intensely from Brazil, which fed that golden period of grandeur and national aggrandizement, producing a of the most beautiful blooms of our culture, expressed plastically. And, from that source that brought material life-giving strength, much of the inspiration, under a feeling of sunptuosity and exalted fantasy or under a profusion of exotic motifs and forms, which two centuries ago, in another equally splendid time, had inspired the Manueline style - this plastic sortilogio that the consecrated art historian and critic Eugenio d’Ors considers “the genesis of the Baroque that spread throughout Europe in the 17th century “and that Portuguese and Spanish other continents.   Through this transplantation to other parts of the world, the Iberian peoples return to their origins many of the strange forms that they had imported, now more or less stylized to their sensitivity, to while transferring many of the reasons for these overseas regions plastics from the Peninsula and other European countries, which in turn instead they will be adapted to the particular temperament of other peoples and exercise greater or lesser influence on your art.   Thus, there is an osmosis of culture, an aesthetic interpenetration that for the first time in the history of civilization it takes on the form of a truly universalist.

It is the first time that a style artistic movement spreads through the seven world games, reaching continents and oceans, and this glory is enjoyed by Portugal and Spain, who disseminate it Africa, the Americas, Asia and Insulindia, mainly in their characteristically Hispanic, with Transoceanic inspiration and meaning eclectic and universal.   If the baroque chain purely Europe suffers strong fermentation in the Iberian Peninsula under the action of native aesthetic yeast, it is perhaps under the influence of Amerindian and Asian art that it disintegrates from the molds originating and takes on personalities And this style is so metamorphosed, taking root in the lands overseas, it blends with the warmth of the environment tropical, taking particular flavor and multiple local charms. This flowering Iberian Baroque overseas style is generally designated by style colonial, although marked differences are more of a country to demand a certain particularization.  

Although having to face the powerful irradiation of Spanish art and the action of foreign architects within the its own borders, Portugal managed to maintain a position in the 18th century standout within the peninsular artistic movement and give their productions a his own stamp of vigorous personality, which the eminent art critic Dr. Reinaldo dos Santos considers “one of the most original ways in which he was incarnated European baroqueism ”and whose richness of forms provoked the admiration of historiographer of portuguese art count de Rackaynoki.

Our 18th century baroque, which is commonly known as D. João V style is one of the best expressions plastics of sensitivity, of the idiosyncrasy of the Portuguese people. He anchored our art again in the national aesthetic feeling and in the spirit of our tradition, which had previously been evident in the Romanesque phase and at the time Manueline. 

It is not limited to the land metropolitan area to the prodigious construction activity of the 18th century. Your reflex projects to the overseas territories, with more or less intensity and brilliance, enriching them with material values ​​and valuable creations of art, in a synchronous vibration of efforts and ideals that rarely reached so much high pitch and produced such fruitful results. In all our At that time, numerous works of civil, religious and military, especially in Brazil, where our attention was concentrated and whose natural wealth provided the opportunity to realization of remarkable urban progress.

  As in the Metropolis, the labor was scarce for large-scale action and there was no place, most of the time, for the selection of construction materials, which often they had to be imported from the Motherland. So urgent circumstances, in competition with the use of indigenous craftsmen and builders self-taught, lent these architectural productions a physiognomy special, characterized, generally by a simplicity of form, by a technique frustration and by vigorous structural elements, somewhat provincial in appearance and popular. And the Baroque style that has spread through these lands of strange people taken by the colonizers, sometimes suffered the effects of amalgamation of different temperaments and civilizations, bearing fruit here and there without losing the strong national bond impregnated with an exotic and barbaric flavor, under the influx of new suggestions or feelings acting in greater freedom of canons and inspiration.  

To this overseas feature of our architecture, which reveals a constant sensitivity through time and space, in distant times and places, can properly be called style colonial, not because of the geographical situation, but because of the spirit and evocative expression overseas lands, manifesting in multiple intrinsic aspects and in varied formal exteriorizations.

This designation is not yet widespread, except in an improper sense, perhaps because it is an ill-defined idea and of something still to be studied. But either this specter of colonial art or all the other architectural work that the Portuguese really do outside their territory metropolitan area, are of a very precious value and of an apprehended for the valorization of the Nation's spiritual patrimony, for the prestige of our culture and possibly even to the surge in the evolution of our art in the future.

  One thing is obvious right now and constitutes an indisputable postulate: the full history of art has not yet been made nor can it be done without going through the colonies, Brazil and other territories that were once under our control or where we exercise our influence. The more non-soy that with purpose, a work will be national of the nobilizers to preserve the venerable moments of the past, so that someday they can become active in our cultural heritage.

V  

More particularly considering the case of Angola, there is also a fertile constructive movement in the eighteenth century, in unison with work developed in other parts of the Empire Portuguese, although more modest in works and proportions, which will not be to be surprised given the subordinate function that this colony then performed.   At that time there were still very few European population in Angola and, among these, only a small number had the importance and security enough to make them feel any aesthetic concern. The vicissitudes of the struggles against Gentile and decay or the abandonment of villages may have made many vestiges of that era. Apart from one or another presidio in the sertão, where life it was too harsh and insecure to allow works beyond defensive, colonizing action was limited to some coastal or fluvial.  

It was there, in these towns and cities, that constructive activity has developed, in solid and durable factories, merely utilitarian and defensive, spiritual in character and intent artistic, others.   It is mainly in Luanda that finds the largest nucleus of constructions of that time, in particular buildings residences, among them many townhouses. Some have a palatial appearance and are of a certain importance, more for the proportions than for the wealth architectural or value of the materials used. The simplicity of lines architectural and ornamental motifs, has a certain noble appearance and city, with its symmetrical facades, its balconies with iron bars forged, its framed cocks and protruding edges.

They are well Portuguese patents. The baroque characteristics and the typical feature colonial, mainly on the balconies of the afternoons, on the roofs and other details.   Also on the outskirts of Luanda, constructed several buildings in the same style identity, mourn the ruin and disappearance of many of them.   In the villages of Dondo and Novo Redondo, as a whole they still retain their 18th century characteristics, between single storey houses, some houses of stately stature and character Benguela is one of the ancient settlements more of Angola. Its political function through the ages, its activities and its foundation in the penetration and occupation of land in the south of Quanza, gave her an aura of grandeur and exhorted her from historical traditions that only the capital of Cologne can supplant. However, in urban realizations, in architectural works, did not live up to its prestige as a second city of Angola, not even being able to present the typical townhouses that come in less important villages and that witness the relief that their commerce enjoyed in the past centuries. The ground constructions themselves offer the least architectural interest nor generally reveal any aesthetic concern. One would say that Benguela has always lived on the margins of spiritual yearnings and the thrill of achievement that animated the Portuguese people, both in the 18th century and in any other in the Colony itself. Perhaps that powerful local unhealthy factors with the consequent intentions of moving the city discouraged the execution of major works or the construction of simple buildings with durable materials and with concern for good taste. Perhaps some who may have once existed have fallen under the ruin of time or other fatalities, as happened with the Church of Santo António, or have been dismantled by man, as happened with the old fortress and old hospital.   

VI

luckily that at least one exemplary escapes the maelstrom of destruction and artistic sterility environment, although not purified from the grafts and irreverence with which the defiled. And it is surprising and paradoxical that precisely in the poorest city of architecture and in the village of Angola where the outbreak was least felt 18th century art museum is the most beautiful architectural specimen of that time in the whole of Cologne: the Church of Our Lady of Pópulo.

  The graceful temple of the city of Benguela is the example that marks the repercussion, in the South of Cologne, of the activity constructive that galvanized the entire Empire during that century; is the specimen that best witnesses the expansion of national baroque art in Angolan lands; it is, in the end, the most typical model of colonial architecture in this region of the African continent.  

Despite their irregularities and the its humble context of whitewashed masonry, its contemplation awakens a feeling of beauty and evokes the creative and generous spirit of other eras, which he knew how to transmute the materials that nature has always made available to man, in works of art and achievements of high and lasting meaning.

The modesty of proportions did not diminish the charm of the specific shapes, and the technique itself incipient and frustration of its finish seems to give it an emotional value Special.

  Both because of the general composition of the front, as well as for its ornamental reasons, the baroque style of the its architectural lines, revealing itself more pronouncedly in the towers of bell-shaped domes, in the curvilinear silhouette of the elegant pediment, in the decorative reliefs of the portal in the delicate shape of the niches. But your barroquismo has to value it a characteristic national character, a linked ethnic personality, who is mainly affiliated with the contemporary works of southern provinces of Portugal. But there is also a particular feeling to radiate from its architecture, a singular expression that emanates from the works of created in the overseas lands and gives it its own character, easier to apprehend than define: its colonial flavor.

Simple sapling of a fraternity imperial, Benguela temple has in other territories of Portuguese colonization some similar creations in style, although differing in the set of composition and the magnificence of proportions. There are examples in Brazil and India that clearly reflect the same inspiration, with identical silhouettes and repeated elements of architecture. There are manifest influences from one to others, but each has its own conformation, and the Benguela church does not it also ceases to have its differentiated physiognomy, to which even simplicity and modesty give particular emphasis. In view of all the eighteenth century works that exist in Angola, the Church of Nossa Senhora do Pópulo is certainly the most characteristic and the one of greatest artistic interest. If in sunny houses and old townhouses Luanda coevos are typical examples of civil architecture, their great ornamental sobriety and simplicity of composition do not allow them compete with the graceful lines and aesthetic value of this temple. And of other religious moments of the time that still remain in Cologne and that well few are, after most have disappeared none reaches the level of those nor does it have the Baroque, Portuguese and colonial character that distinguishes it. Same between all buildings of identical purpose that have been erected in Angola, before or after that have been built in Angola, before or after after him, there will be no other superior or similar in beauty and intrinsic qualities of its architecture.  

    VII  

Works of art are a heritage material and spiritual life of the nation, an index of its culture and civilization in evolution of the times. And, when these superior creations of the human spirit are found in lands where a people expanded colonizing, they have a very special meaning and importance, because they are evocative landmarks of no contribution to the march of Humanity, which to its aesthetic merit add a political and historical value that cannot be sufficiently exalted.  

Out of ignorance or contempt for these cultural values ​​and moral interests of the Nation, abandoned themselves to the ruin of time and the neglect or destruction of men numerous architectural monuments with priceless artistic filling.   For the purpose of preventing these irreparable losses, official institutions have been created in all cultured countries protection and conservation of the monumental and artistic heritage, being to check what has already been done in Portugal in this regard, saving and reintegrating many of the ancient and glorious patterns of others ages.

It is also comforting to see what in Brazil is being done for the defense and conservation of its valuable architecture especially from colonial times.  

In good time, the National Monuments Commission, to watch over the legacy of art and history in this part of the Empire, where our mission has been carried out for over four centuries civilizing, ennobled since the beginning with a constructive work that is not limited to the satisfaction of material needs.   Some venerable monuments of the past already received the classification of patrimonial assets of the Nation, with the inherent official protection, and even in certain cases. benefited from restoration works or conservation. Others, however, still need to be placed under the depredations and ruin, protected and conserved by the State, so that they what happens to so many others has already happened, which has already disappeared altogether or they lie in rubble, corroded by time or dismantled by ignorant and irreverent hands.  

  Among all those who find themselves unprotected, the Church of Nossa Senhora do Pópulo, in Benguela; and among them, it is certainly one of the most worthy of official protection, categorized artistic value and by several other conditions that qualify it to be considered a national monument of Angola. Of these conditions that impose it on public consideration and respect and the tutelary action of the Monuments Commission, some have appreciable local importance, as this Church is in Benguela:       The only temple that subsists; the only copy of 18th century architecture; The only monument remarkable architectural feature; the only building historical and artistic value; the oldest temple of southern Angola. Other conditions are extraordinary general importance for Cologne, for being that Church: Its most notable specimen of century architecture XVIII; its most appreciable model of Portuguese baroque, its most typical construction of the colonial style; architectural model more representative of a time of increase artistic and constructive, the most beautiful building religious throughout the colony; the monument of capital value for the history of Art in AngolaOther conditions, still, assume a importance of relevance and cultural interest for the whole Empire, for this Church constitute:   An authentic value for the study of the expansion of Art Portuguese overseas; valuable basis for researching mutual artistic influences inter-colonial and metropolis; a testimony of high ideal that has guided colonization Portuguese standard of action evangelizing and civilizing of Portugal; a representative landmark the diffusion of European culture on the Continent African. The competition of the reasons explained, more than the simple moral act of classifying the Church of Nossa Senhora do Pópulo as a national monument, fully justify more effective support and more immediate results by the Government, tending to repair injuries the past, remedy present deficiencies and prevent future contempt. This is: in addition to the moral protection, he should be exempted from the material assistance it needs to get rid of spurious grafts and to be able to withstand the damage of the time. These purposes imply carrying out repair and conservation, as well as restoration or, more properly, the reintegration of the building in its original style. Since its exact nature is unknown primitive configuration.

In addition to the works to be carried out building, others should be undertaken for its valorization, consisting of the arrangement and beautification of the place according to the plans foreseen in the Urbanization of the City.

The materialization of this idea requires some expropriations and demolitions of unsightly and little valuable existing buildings, which undo and hinder traffic in this urban area. The planned remodeling consists of creation of a wide garden, around the Church, and in the conditioning of the constructions close to aesthetic guidelines converging towards obtaining a connected and harmonious architectural ensemble.

The respective regulation established a protection zone for the monument consisting of the square surrounding area and the avenue that leaves from its front, prescribing that all the constructions to be made in that area had an affinity with the lines architectural features of those.These prescriptions have partially neglected by the Municipality, authorizing the construction of buildings on Avenida in uncharacteristic and disproportionate architectural lines in relation to its width, from more to more in series of repeated model.

The fact imposes the need to, with the classification of the Church as a national monument, the nearest area is officially considered as a protection zone, promulgating the necessary provisions so that the wide range of designed and so that in its periphery it is not allowed to erect any construction in disrespect to the superior urban and national conveniences, which demand, in this case, the application of coherent urban methods and the defense aesthetic of a work of art of remarkable historical and cultural value. Art Dr. Reinaldo dos Santos being “architecture, collective art by excellence, the one that best expresses the aspirations, the glory or the dreams of great times ”.

So it really is, and not only translates them at the time when materialized, as evoked and Perpetual forever, leaving us at the same time time the living lesson of its inspiring example.

Architectural monuments are a heritage that knows no time limit and that never loses value o: not only enrich and glorify the past as the present and the future, ennobling and revaluing with age.These works of art are true indices of the degree of civilization that not only interest the nation that created them, but to all of humanity, which has a legacy of spirit in them, a perennial beam whose light shines illuminating it at all times.

Like the venerable monuments that Angola are so few, we take care to defend and preserve them, as one of the most noble and sacred values ​​that we inherited from our ancestors and that we have the duty to transmit to those to come, to whom they also belong, such as to us or to that preceded us.  


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