Built in 1914, Five Wounds Portuguese National Church in San Jose, CA, is one of the most photographed, sketched and painted buildings in the area — not only for its Old World-style Catholic architecture, but also for its notable history. In 1915, the Panama-Pacific Exposition (the precursor to the World’s Fair) was held in San Francisco. The city was rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake, and it was hoped this massive event would bring commerce to the area. The Portuguese Pavilion was built for the Expo. After the fair was over, the pavilion was slated for demolition. A Portuguese priest of some repute in the burgeoning San Jose valley purchased it for a song. He shipped most of it — piece by piece — to its San Jose location, where it stands today. Much of the original wood and ornate decor remain. Thus, Five Wounds Portuguese National Church was founded. For a century, it has exuded Iberian charm and grace. Unfortunately, however, its sound quality was anything but awe-inspiring.
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