The history of the Cathedral of São Paulo goes back in time to 1589, when it was decided that a main church (the Matriz) would be built in the small village of São Paulo.
The Cathedral is the largest church in the city of São Paulo: 111 metres long, 46 metres wide, with the two flanking towers reaching a height of 92 metres. The Cathedral is a Latin cross church with a five-aisled nave and a dome that reaches 30 metres over the crossing. Although the building in general is Neo-Gothic, the dome is inspired by the Renaissance dome of the Cathedral of Florence.
The cathedral’s organ, built in 1954 by the Italian firm Balbiani & Rossi, is one of the largest in Latin America. It has five keyboards, 329 stops, 120 registers, and 12,000 pipes, the mouths of which display hand-engraved reliefs in Gothic style.
Built in 1862 and promoted to main church a year later, the Saint Anthony of Jacutinga Cathedral is in the middle of busy Nova Iguaçu's downtown area. Festivities in honor of the city's patron saint are held there, in June.
Most famous postcard of the capital city of Minas Gerais, the church is a rare gemstone located at the rim of the Pampulha Lagoon. Also known as Pampulha Chapel, the São Francisco de Assis Church opened its doors in 1943, but it was only truly recognized by Church authorities 14 years later, in 1959, due to some debate regarding its unorthodox shape.
Considered avant-garde, the Church is a small masterpiece of the Pampulha Architectural Complex. It was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer and its interior houses the famous Via Crucis, consisting of 14 panels of Cândido Portinari.
The Church also features the Burle Marx gardens, the bronze bas-relief sculptures carved by Alfredo Ceschiatti, and an abstract panel created by Paulo Werneck. The exterior is decorated with more beautiful Portinari panels, made in white and blue tiles, depicting Saint Francis next to a skinny dog, instead of the traditional wolf.
The originality and boldness of Niemeyer consolidated this church as a true modern age landmark. It was the first Brazilian church with modernist traces, and its vertical and horizontal curves mesh together in unique and perfect harmony.
The Cathedral of Brasilia was the first monument built in the city and its cornerstone was set in September 1958. The structure was completed by 1960, a time when only the circular area was visible, measuring 70 meters of diameter and working as foundation for 16 concrete columns weighing 90 tons.
The Cathedral was inaugurated in May 1970. Consecrated architect Oscar Niemeyer designed the church, as well as the Alvorada Palace, the National Congress, the Planalto Palace and the Federal Supreme Court buildings, among others.
The church has a peculiar beauty. Held by 16 arched pillars that form a thorn crown, the central nave is covered by an immense stained glass panel projected by Marianne Peretti, made out of glass fiber pieces in blue, green, white and brown.
Inside the church, three huge angel sculptures by Alfredo Ceschiatti float from the ceiling suspended by steel cables. The baptistery is covered in tiles painted by Athos Bulcão. The Via Sacra is a piece of work by Di Cavalcanti and the image of Our Lady Aparecida is a replica of the original, this one located in Aparecida, in the state of Sao Paulo.
Built by one of Brazil's first black brotherhoods, it stands out for its grandeur and beauty.
Founded in 1685 by one of the first brotherhoods of black men in Brazil, the Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos Church was erected in Pelourinho by black religious and slaves who lived in Salvador . It took decades to complete (from 1704 to 1780), as members of the brotherhood could only work on the building in their spare time.
The rococo towers with bulb endings are lined with tiles with scenes from the devotion to the Rosary of Lisbon, dating from 1790. Inside, there are panels depicting scenes from the life of Saint Dominic and, besides the image of the saint who lends the In the name of the Church, there are also images of Saint Benedict, Saint Anthony of Catgera and the Crucified Christ, in ivory. The altars are in neoclassical style and, in the back, there is an old slave cemetery.
As the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in Bolivia, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Sucre (or Catedral Metropolitana) is of great importance to the deeply religious city. Construction started on what was then the Cathedral Church of La Plata on June 27, 1552. Works would not fully complete until 260 years later, in 1712. What began as a Renaissance design gradually evolved, during this time, to include baroque and mestizo baroque features.
Inside, the expansive white nave is beautifully lit by the sunlight which filters through the many stained glass windows. It is decorated with crystal chandeliers and embellishments in gold and Potosi silver. The walls are lined with large oil paintings, by the artist Montufar, depicting the martyrdom of the apostles. The pews are hand-carved, as are the choir chairs which are additionally brightly-painted and finished in velvet. The white, gold-trimmed, pulpit features an angel in old-fashioned Spanish military clothing. The altar is crowned by a silver crucifix known as the Cross of Carabuco.
Church of Our Lady of Carmo is a Mannerist style of the Church of Mercy; of the colonial and eclectic architecture of the civilian house, besides the art-nouveau and the art-deco, of the decades of 20 and 30, predominant in the Plaza Antenor Navarro and Hotel Globo.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Fortaleza started to be built in 1939, and took nearly 40 years to complete (it was dedicated on December 22nd 1978); the design was by French architect George Mounier. The church, built in Gothic-Roman style, fits 5,000 people, and is the third largest in Brazil.
The church is located across the street from the Central Handicraft Market and at a short distance walk from the Fortress of Nossa Senhora da Assunção.
Black spots on the outside walls are caused by humidity. The Cathedral belongs to the Catholic Church and doesn't receive any funding from the Government. The mixtures of styles is well visible: towers in spear shape, like Gothic churches, and the main cupula has squared shape, like the Roman churches.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Loreto is located opposite the Plaza Sarmiento, between Moreno and Lavalle streets. It is one of the oldest in the city and still retains its original architectural structure despite having undergone several modifications.
The original cathedral located in the Old Town was destroyed by an earthquake in 1861. Its replacement was planned for the New Town opposite the Plaza Independencia, but after construction began it had to be demolished, targeting the land to the construction of another building.
The Cathedral of Lima in the city’s historic centre is Lima’s most iconic building and home to the best museum of religious art. It is also known for being home to the tomb of Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro. The main church of Peru dates back to 1535 when Francisco Pizarro first laid the foundation for the church which would serve the new Spanish colonists. The temple was inaugurated in 1540 and elevated to the status of cathedral in 1541 when the Lima diocese was formed.
The new design included the two neoclassical bell towers the structure is recognized by and the main altar. Other renovations came in the 19th century and after the earthquake of 1940.
The Cathedral of Lima was visited by four saints of the colonial era including Santa Rosa de Lima, San Martin de Porres, San Juan Macias and San Francisco Solano. In 1985 Pope John Paul II visited in a historic first, and he returned in 1988.
With all the phases of construction led to a mix of architectural styles, as in most of Lima, including neoclassical, baroque and gothic.
La Merced Chapel is one of the most important places to visit in Cali, as the city’s inaugural Mass was delivered here on July 25, 1536. A 15th century wood carved statue of the Virgin of Las Mercedes is kept inside.
The origins of the Cathedral Metropolitan Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary date back to 1927, when the French architect Julien Auguste Polti was entrusted to rebuild it after a fire in 1926. Construction began in 1928 and ended in 1939, after work was interrupted due to the Great Depression of the 30s. The Cathedral measures 25,833 square feet and can accommodate 5,000 people.
Bolívar Square lies at the center of Manizales and is surrounded by the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Governor’s Palace, among other buildings. In the square you can admire Bolívar Condor, a sculpture made in tribute to Simón Bolívar made by Rodrigo Arenas Betancourt, as well as ceramic murals by local artist Guillermo Botero.
The small town of Guatape is a colourful and tranquil pueblito (small town) perfect to enjoy a day trip (or two) from Medellin. Whilst the town is famous for the colourful designs on the facades of the houses it’s probably more recognisable in promotional material for the the large rock “El Penol” which you can climb to get an amazing view of the surrounding man-made lagoons.
Small historical town located just 2 hours from Medellin. It was the capital of the region before the control of power was shifted to Medellin. If you’re interested in colonial architecture, white-washed walls, weathered churches (like The Catedral de Santa Fe de Antioquia, located in the main plaza) and old town squares then Santa Fe is a perfect day trip from Medellin.
The Citadelle Laferrière is a mountaintop fortress, located on the northern coast of Haiti - on the top of mountain Bonnet a L’Eveque.
Depicted on local currency, stamps and postcards, this amazing structure has become the symbol of Haiti’s power and independence. It was built at the beginning of the 19th century by one of the leaders of Haiti’s slave revolution. The Citadelle Laferrière is also known simply as the Citadelle or as Citadelle Henri Christophe in the honour of its creator.
The Citadelle is referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World and in 1982 it was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This massive stone construction is the largest fortress in the Americas. Built to demonstrate the power of the newly independent Haiti, the Citadelle Laferrière was essential for the security of Haiti’s newly formed state.
The Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Cathedral stays from the early 20th century in the same place where other temples stood before since the 16th century. However, the repeated assaults of the pirates, the weather and the earthquakes destroyed the previous buildings.
With all the rich history that’s been written in the Exumas, it’s surprising how few historical sights there are to see in its capital, Georgetown. Like Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos, the Exumas were settled by Loyalists, former American colonists who stayed true to the British Crown in the wake of the Revolutionary War.
Located in the heart of Belize City, St. John’s Cathedral is one of the few physical legacies of the long period as a British colony. Built in 1812 as the Church of England’s headquarters in Central America, the cathedral was once used to crown four different native kings of the Miskito tribe in lavish ceremonies matching the pomp and circumstances of coronations in Europe. Today, the cathedral is the oldest surviving building constructed by Europeans in Belize.
Using the enormous ballast stones brought over from Europe, English colonizers in what was then known as British Honduras erected the mighty St. John’s Cathedral as the power base of the Church of England in Central America. Visitors today can marvel at the well-preserved architecture made from sapodilla and mahogany wood, an antique pipe organ and tombstones of English colonists from the earliest days of the settlement of Belize City.
The very heart of the town (declared an Asset of Cultural Interest) is represented by the church of San Antonio Abad, from the 18th century, located right in the space that a hermitage occupied a hundred years ago. Inside the temple, the image of the Christ of Health is its most valuable piece. Around, the stately homes and cobbled streets invite a peaceful walk.
The city grew around San Ginés, a historic fishing centre established on the shore. Amid its streets steeped in the local seafaring atmosphere is the church of San Ginés. Standing on the site of the first hermitage to be constructed in the capital, it was rebuilt in the 17th century, while its slender belltower dates from the 19th century.
The Chapel of São Sebastião was built in 1426 under the order of the Infante D. Henrique. Later, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with the growth of the population, it was necessary to expand and remodel the said chapel, transforming it into the present church.
Mexico City’s mammoth cathedral was built across three centuries (1573–1813)—starting soon after Cortés and his allies vanquished the Aztec Empire—using stones taken from a destroyed indigenous temple. Today’s sanctuary serves up contrasts between unadorned neoclassical walls alongside exuberant gilt chapels and altarpieces as well as a massive pipe organ, with some baroque elements, that’s still dusted off and played from time to time. Be sure not to miss the high altar, and consider shelling out for a visit to the sacristy, with its glistening dome, grand canvases, and massive cabinets, fit to hold an archbishop’s entire stock of holy utensils. And for a queasy view of how much the ground beneath the city is sinking, note how chandeliers appear to list in comparison to the chapel’s vertical lines.
Facing Jackson Square and flanked by the historic Cabildo on one side and the equally historic Presbytere on the other, St. Louis Cathedral is among the tallest and most imposing structures in the French Quarter. And one of the most recognizable.
St. Patrick's Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of New York and the seat of the Archbishop. Located on Fifth Avenue, across from Rockefeller Center, the sanctuary is the largest Gothic Catholic cathedral in the US. This international landmark, dedicated in 1879, welcomes more than five million visitors each year. With its 330-foot spires, it is one of the City's most spectacular architectural sights. Inside, it boasts a seating capacity of 2,400, numerous altars and stained glass windows, and a giant organ with 7,855 pipes.
The long period of time over which it was built caused a variety of styles to be integrated into the structure of this cathedral.
It was built as a Collegiate Church, since Jerez did not have a bishopric until 1980. Building began in 1695 and lasted until 1778. Participating architects included Diego Moreno Meléndez, Rodrigo del Pozo, Diego Díaz, Juan de Pina, Torcuato Cayón de la Vega, Juan de Vargas and Pedro Ángel de Albizu. The building has a rectangular plan, with five naves. It is Baroque in style.
The Salvador is a religious temple for Roman Catholic worship under the patronage of Our Lord San Salvador, located in the Plaza del Salvador in Seville and is the largest church in the city, after the Cathedral. Deprived of its parish ranking after the latest restoration work, it currently functions as an exempt church, within the parish jurisdiction of San Isidro.
Better known as the Cistercian Abbey, it was built in 1878 by Jerónimo Cuervo and restored in 1990. The Church has a beautiful choir and tribune behind the chancel, an example of sacred convent art where the most obvious sign is its simple, bright façade topped by an original 18th Century statue of Santa Ana in terracotta.
From the outside, the cathedral was built in the form of a fortress to keep it safe during the continuous wars suffered by the city. Its construction was begun after the conquest of Badajoz by King Alfonso IX in the 13th century.