Paraty, pronounced Par-a-chee, is a preserved Portuguese colonial (1500-1822) and Brazilian Imperial (1822–1889) town with a population of about 36,000. It is located on the Costa Verde (Green Coast), a lush, green corridor that runs along the coastline of the state of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. It is a 250-kilometre drive south west of Rio de Janeiro, which takes about three and half hours. Paraty has become a popular tourist area in recent years, renowned for the historic town and the coast and mountains in the region. Paraty is known for the cobblestone-paved streets throughout the historic centre district, which are pleasant to walk along as no cars or trucks are allowed in this part of town, only foot traffic or bicycles. Motor vehicles are only allowed in the Historic District on Wednesdays for deliveries. Horses and carts are a very common sight in Paraty and are frequently used all around the town. Paraty has been able to maintain many of its historic buildings and much of the architecture of the city has not changed for over 250 years.
This church was built and used by Paraty’s African slaves and dates back to 1725. The church has a much simpler, more rustic style than the other three churches in Paraty. Every year in the first week of December the festivities of São Benedito are held in this church.