Congonhas is a small historical city at 75 km south of Belo Horizonte, along the ‘Estrada Real’ to Rio de Janeiro. The city is well known for the statues of Brazilian artist Aleijadinho.
Passions of Christ: ‘The Castigation’.
‘The Castigation’ is the fourth of six Passos, the Passion of Christ. ‘The Castigation’ shows two separate passions: the castigation of Jesus by Roman soldiers, and the coronation with a crown of thorns.
from left to right (names in Portuguese):
Amos – Joel – Ezequiel – Isaías – Jonas – Abdias – Daniel – Jeremias – Naum – Habacuc – Oséias – Baruc
The ‘Passos’ are composed of no less than sixty-six statures, which are divided over six small chapels that are flanking the steep alley to Santuário de Bom Jesus do Matosinhos. These statues were created between 1799 and 1806. Initially, they were stored, until the chapels were finished, in 1875. The groups of statues in the six chapels demonstrate the Passion of Christ: Last Supper, Olive Garden, Imprisonment. Castigation, Carrying the Cross, and Crucifixion.
Lack of space
Curiously enough, this chapel was constructed about half a century later, in 1864. Two passions are located here, be it in a somewhat forced way. The left part shows the castigation, while the right part shows the coronation with crown of thorns. The two passions are separated from each other with a wooden beam. The scene therefore appears a bit chaotic, the visitor will have to consider these two passions as a comic with two separate scenes.
Castigation and coronation
After the presentation of Jesus to the crowd, which demanded for his crucifixion, Pilatus handed Jesus over to the soldiers and washed his hands. The soldiers castigated Jesus and draped a purple mantle on his shoulders and put a crown of thorns on his head. They mockingly called him “Iesu Nazarenus Rex Iudeorum“.
The shield above the chapel shows the following text:
Eis o Homem. João Cap. 19.
(See the Man. John 19)
Images showing both passions:
Congonhas may be easily reached by bus from Belo Horizonte. A single ticket costs about 20 reais (8 euros, 2010). The city is situated at the Estrada Real, a historic route that leads from Minas Gerais (Diamantina and Ouro Preto) to Rio de Janeiro (Paraty or Rio de Janeiro). Near the bus stop is the tourist information center, where you can see a little overview of the church and the statues, and were you can make an appointment for a local guide who leads you through the historic center of the city. The church is easily reached by bus. It is also possible to walk this distance; it will take a bit less than an hour. Remember that the church resides on a hill, and therefore must be climbed. At the foot of the church is a regular market, worth a visit too.
|Congonhas, city of the Prophets
|Historic images of Congonhas
By Adriano Antoine Robbesom