Among the ways of species preservation are those that bring individuals together, which unite them in order to make them stronger, more resistant to the adversities of time: it is in the nature of life walk in that direction.Ruy Luiz Machado
It is inherent in human existence that this union of efforts determines the emergence of links and that consequently it establishes relationships, it conceives societies, groups, families. And it is from these relationships and from the environment where they occur that cultures and traditions emerge, where stories take place and that build history: because relationships complement, relationships nourish.
And the marks that remain, they always tell us a little of what happened: materialize the time that has passed: eternalize past, submit future. Establish connections that refer to the roots, origins, identity of peoples and people: preserving is future!
It was on this line of thought that last Saturday when I visited Santo Amaro da Imperatriz, I was talking to my friend Juliano Souza da Silva. The conversation took place in Governador Ivo Silveira square, downtown near the centenary fig tree, after some photographic records I made of the painting of the artist Ângelo: ``Arrival of His Imperial Majesties Dom Pedro II and Dona Tereza Cristina in Santo Amaro, called Sant`Ana, on October 29, 1845``.
Juliano, besides advocating, is City Councilman and President of the city`s Rotary Club; but was also a columnist for the newspaper ``O Regional`` where he periodically wrote historical chronicles about the municipality. He reminded me of a chronicle published in August 2015 written about ``The Gallotti Kehrig family mansion`` (1915): a beautiful building located nearby and invited me to meet it.
I was impressed by the imposing beauty of its architecture rich in detail and the historical-cultural value it possesses. I also did some photographic records and invited Juliano to republish that chronicle which he promptly consented to as follows.
``I stop in front of the majestic Gallotti Kehrig family mansion in the centre of Santo Amaro with my cell phone camera ready to use it in another attempt to pause the passage of time. As I look at the imposing mansion and its beautiful facade memories of when I was a child appear, when I passed by several times and from the car I kept my eyes glazed on that building so full of windows and doors. But the faces of the sphinxes in the highest part of the facade of the house, just before the roof, were my enchantment. As we approached the beautiful building my nose was glued to the glass of the car, a yellow Beetle, seeing far beyond a simple house. In my fertile imagination those faces of sphinxes were real and guarded the home of evildoers. They might be related to those mythological creatures we were accustomed to watch in the afternoon movies on television such as ``The NeverEnding Story``. The house is no longer the same, the beautiful carved wooden doors and the large windows were replaced by shop windows. The buildings in the vicinity of the mansion insist on taking away its beauty and grandeur. But the faces of those sphinxes are still there.
A plethora of little elements that have been there for a long time, they do not seem to have enough angles to satisfy my eagerness to record the smallest details. The house brings us a wealth of architectural details that does not exist in any other building of Santo Amaro. The platybanda with rich decorative elements exhibits a kind of great vases at the extremities and at its centre. Large windows at the sides, each one presenting its cimeta carved with delicacy and perfection, remain closed to the world guarding the events of an unknown past by the great majority of us, but so important for the history of Santo Amaro da Imperatriz; because there lived the influential Kehrigs. The high pavement of old bricks leads our eyes to large doors, side by side, with columns that extend themselves to the strip where the sphinxes are.
Imagining myself being inside it, these doors offer me an opportunity to exit that I refuse. Everything there brings us back to the past. I imagine myself being inside it, these doors offer me an opportunity of exit that I refuse. Everything there brings us back to the past. I also imagine how it should be to observe the beauty of the garden that existed on the side of the house, the place where it is now occupied by a building nothing attractive to the eyes? What did the people who had the privilege of living there think? What smells would come out of those big windows? Maybe the dried meat frying in the pot, the cornmeal cake cooking in the oven, the coffee being made in the old coffee pot or a scent of lavenders that belonged to the widow Mrs. Kehrig, who probably sought the stillness of the garden to cherish the memories of the youth and the beloved dead husband. Imagining the large trees that should have existed in a farmhouse behind the house of over hundred years of age, the sun bathing the house in its last rays, and I withdraw silently.
My hope is to sensitize people so that all this beauty continues to be preserved and, in future generations others may stop in front of this charming house, dreaming of a better future for Santo Amaro, remember the past and perhaps listening the stories of the ancient and once important inhabitants of the Gallotti Kehrig family mansion, at a moment when the thought flies distracted in the accelerated velocity that grows Santo Amaro. On this day we may hear again the sound of the old Band of musicians ``Gloria on September 7th`` which in the past was born there and many songs played.``
*Originally published in August 2015 in the newspaper ``O Regional`` of the city of Santo Amaro da Imperatriz, Brazil.
Juliano Souza da Silva
- Santo Amaro da Imperatriz: 27° 41` 16`` S 48° 46` 44`` W
- Casarão Gallotti Kehrig: 27° 41` 08.65`` S 48° 46` 36.25`` W