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“Nosso Senhor do Bonfim Church and ribbons”

Nosso Senhor do Bonfim church
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Outskirts City Tour Including Favelas of Salvador
Ranked #2 of 255 things to do in Salvador
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Tue-Thu & Sat 6.30am-6pm, Fri & Sun 5.30am-6pm
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
69 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Nosso Senhor do Bonfim Church and ribbons”
Reviewed 6 August 2014

Once in Salvador the Igreja Nosso Senhor do Bonfim worth a visit because it is part of the history of the city. The origin of the famous "Lord of Bonfim ribbons" that you find all over town. Beautiful inside.

Visited July 2014
Thank vagalugo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New York City, New York
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62 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Three wishes and a room of miracles”
Reviewed 3 August 2014

When I visited Salvador da Bahia, the Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim — Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim — was not on my itinerary. So when my host graciously offered to drive me there, I had no idea what I was going to see when I got there.

When we arrived, the wind was blowing and the first thing was not something I saw but heard — rustling, the rustling of thousands upon thousands of vibrant colored ribbons tied to the metal fence surrounding the church. More on that in a bit...

I happened to visit on a Sunday and was able to see a service. Despite a swarm of tourists, the service proceeded as is. I think as long as you are discreet about your photography and move about silently while people are praying and/or singing, no one will take offense.

I found the church's nave and altar beautiful but no different than that of other important churches around the world (save your energy for the gilded interiors of Sao Francisco in Pelourinho). However, the south transept (right wing) was a completely different story. Known as the Miracle Room, this room is covered with photos of people. A random look upwards and I discovered row upon row of plastic human limbs hanging from the ceiling. My host explained that worshippers came to pray for loved ones and left photos of them. The limbs were offerings made in the hopes that a loved one’s ailment would be cured.

Since I arrived at Bonfim Church with no prior knowledge, I was pleasantly surprised and glad to have visited.

Now for the thousands of ribbons!

Known as "Fitas" or Bonfim Ribbons, these are good luck/wish ribbons. The words on the ribbon says ”Lembrança do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia," or in remembrance of the Savior of Bahia, or Souvenir from the God of Bahia. They were originally made with silk; the writings were handwritten, usually with ink or silver. In the olden days, medallions and holy images were hung from these fitas and people wore them around their necks.

Nowadays people wear them around their wrist or ankle. For the fitas to "work" you must tie them the proper way. Wrap the fita around the wrist or ankle, and make 3 knots, making a wish for each of the 3 knots tied. Once the fita falls off, it is believed that the 3 wishes will come true. I only have one and I wish I had gotten more. These make for great souvenirs too. And each color is symbolic. These are the most common meanings associated with each color:

Red – strength, passion
Orange – courage, energy, joy, enthusiasm
Yellow – success, intelligence
Dark Green - money, growth
Green – life, renewal
Turquoise – love, peace
Light Blue – love and peace
Dark Blue – health, comfort, fertility
Purple – spirituality
Hot Pink – friendship
White – wisdom, inner peace
Gray – patience, understanding

Visited July 2014
1 Thank CarpeDiem5D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
356 reviews
154 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Vey interesting and still an active church”
Reviewed 8 July 2014

Must see colonial church which has stunning beauty inside and when we were there had an active service. Beautiful carvings and paintings. People tie ribbons on the railings in there 1000's.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank manunited45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lima, Peru
Level Contributor
95 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Pay attention to the paintings”
Reviewed 3 July 2014

Every painting has a legend, keep an eye to them while you see the paintings on the wall, peaceul place...

Visited June 2014
Thank danielrvo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
71 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Part of the Soul of Salvador”
Reviewed 7 May 2014 via mobile

This church is really part of the soul of Salvador being the focal point for religious ceremonies. It's a must to tie some ribbons on the railing and spend some time in the spiritual atmosphere. There is also a great view of the city.

1 Thank Barry O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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