SAO JOAO BATISTA DOS MILITARES CHURCH
Built in the sixteenth century, this is one of the few churches in Olinda, that was preserved from the fire started by the Dutch when they took the city in 1631. The reason for this could be because it belonged to the military brotherhood and because it has served as general quarters for the invaders. Despite its historical importance, the Church suffered severe damage as a result of a process of abandonment. The Master Plan for the restoration of the building was financed by the Foundation and the State Government (FUNDARPE), and carried out by Centro de Estudos Avancados da Conservacao Integrada – CECI.
PROTECTION OF THE CURADO ATLANTIC RAIN FOREST
Mata do Curado is a 90 hectare Atlantic Rain Forest situated on the outskirts of Recife and some 20 kilometers from Olinda. The site was gifted to the Foundation in 2004 on condition that the Forest, which contains many rare species of flora and fauna, be protected as an eco-tourist facility. The Foundation's objective was the recovery of the Mata Atlantica species with a replanting scheme. The existing buildings were restored to provide a Visitor Centre and accommodation for the existing tenants on the site. The conservation of the Forest continues to provide researchers with valuable information about native animals, flora and fauna in neotropical rainforests.
IGREJA DE NOSSA SENHORA DA MISERICORDIA
Originally constructed in 1630 as a hospital, the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia was subsequently burnt down by the Dutch colonists in 1631. Following the expulsion of the Dutch in 1654, reconstruction commenced in 1655 and lasted a number of years. This church was used for hearings during the Inquisition period in Brazil, which resulted in a number of non-believers being extradited to Portugal for trial and sentencing, often resulting in being burned alive at the stake. The Foundation commissioned a Master Plan for the reconstruction of the roof, suffering badly from termite attack and the restoration of the church, which was badly damaged by water ingress.
CONVENTO DE SAO FRANCISCO
The Convento de Sao Francisco is one of the largest monasteries in Olinda and houses one the finest collections of historical manuscripts and books in Brazil. Constructed in 1585, it is the oldest Franciscan Convent in Brazil. It was partially destroyed by the Dutch and was rebuilt in the second half of the 17th century. The Convent was urgently in need of restoration and was on the World Monument Fund Watch List of endangered historic monuments. The Master Plan for the restoration is now complete and was funded by The World Monuments Fund through The American Express Foundation.