Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião: Glass and light

art and culture
Catedral Metropolitana de São Sebastião: Glass and light

The unusual and spectacular architecture of this cathedral hides a wonderful decor.

Between Centro and the northeast corner of Lapa stands a most impressive monument the Cathedral of San Sebastian, the seat of the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro and one of the largest Catholic buildings in the world.

Its avant-garde lines and Mayan temple look come from its daring creator, architect Edgar Oliveira da Fonseca, who, faced with the increasing urbanization of the city, imagined, in the late 1960s, a 96-metre-high pyramid capable of accommodating nearly 20,000 faithful. Built of poured concrete, the cathedral has four huge stained-glass windows that start at the ground and form a cross at the top. These incredible glass panels bathe the interior in a variety of dazzling colours and hues. At night, the spectacle seems almost supernatural.

After the visit, go see the Escadaria Selarón, the 215 famous steps covered with mosaics, or dip into the bustle of Lapa.

Catedral Metropolitana São Sebastião
Avenida Chile 245
Rio de Janeiro 20031-170

+55 (0)21 2240 2669