São Francisco: Church of BlingSalvador, Brazil
Whether you believe in god or not, a visit to this magnificent place of worship in Salvador’s colonial quarter is a religious experience in its own right. The elaborate Franciscan church dates back to 1686 and took decades to complete due to the intricate, gilded design of its facade and interior.
Pay a visit during Sunday morning mass and prepare to be dazzled by the ornately painted ceilings and woodwork, plated with nearly a tonne of gold leaf, or come on a weekday evening to bask in quiet contemplation amid the glow of prayer candles.
You don’t have to pay to enter the church.
Praca Anchieta, s/n | Centro, Salvador, State of Bahia, Brazil
Beware of some unscrupulous locals, who pose as tour guides to make a quick buck from confused tourists.