Igreja da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco da Penitência
Far more impressive than the Convento de Santo Antônio is the interior of the Igreja da Ordem Terceira de São Francisco da Penitência (Largo da Carioca, Centro, tel. 21/2262-0197, 9 a.m.–noon and 1–4 p.m. Tues.–Fri., R$2), one of Rio’s most sumptuous baroque jewels. You’re sure to be blinded by the sheer amount of pure gold on display—400 kilograms (880 pounds) to be precise.
While the church itself took 115 years to build (construction began in 1657), the last 30 years were almost exclusively dedicated to covering the beautifully sculpted cedar altars and naves in gold.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition