In stark contrast to the Old Cathedral, also known as the Old Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, stands the Metropolitan Cathedral at 75 metres in height. The shape and architecture of this Cathedral has nothing in common with the Old Cathedral which was created by the Carmelites in the 19th century. Unique in all ways the Metropolitan although new is steeped in symbolism and interesting aspects
The Metropolitan Cathedral, Catedral Metroplitana de São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro in Portuguese, was built between the years 1964 and 1979. It was built in honour of the patron Saint of Rio, Saint Sebastian. The structure, although resembling and inspired by the Mayan pyramids in Mexico, is conical in its structure but does not reach a peak but is flat instead, like the tops of the Mayan pyramids. It is said that this shape is symbolic, representing the closeness of people to God.
Probably the most noticeable feature of the cathedral are the four stained glass windows that run like vertical columns from the ceiling stretching down to the floor. Only evident from the inside of the Cathedral you will note that there is a cross at the top of the ceiling that is made up of glass and covers the ceiling. Each arm of the cross has the vertical stain glass windows running down to the ground. So from the inside, when you look up what you will see is a cross with beams of light coming out from it and reaching down to you. It feels like you are being caressed by the rays of God, incubating you in a womb of multi-colours. I have no doubt that this is exactly the effect the architect, Edgar Oliveira, had in mind when designing this space.
Each panel of stained glass that comes down from above is rich with different colours and each panel represents something different. Each panel represents one of the four 'marks' of the Church; Holy, Once, Catholic and Apostolic. The way the light shines through the panels of stained glass creates a kaleidoscope of colours inside the cathedral.
The Metropolitan Cathedral has a seating capacity of 20,000 seated and 5,000 standing. Apart from visiting the Cathedral to join a mass or to see the architecture, visitors will also marvel at the pieces of art on display at the Sacred Art Museum in its basement. Be sure to put this historic monument on your list of wonders to visit when you are in Rio.
Facts For Your VisitFee: No
Currently ClosedHours This Week:
- Monday: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM
- Tuesday: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM
- Wednesday: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM
- Thursday: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM
- Friday: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM
- Saturday: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM
- Sunday: 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Address: Cathedral House, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5TQ, UK
Phone: 0151 709 9222
Official Website: Metropolitan Cathedral
|Metro Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|Line 1 Orange or Line 2 Green||Carioca||8 Minutes|
How to get to Metropolitan Cathedral by Metro
Exit the metro at Carioca Station to the south onto Av. Almirante Barroso and go right (east) along the sidewalk. Keep to the right hand sidewalk that goes up to the pedestrian overpass. Take the overpass across the road and go to your right on the far side continuing along the mosiac sidewalk toward the cathedral. Take the steps on your right just before the parking lot.
Map & Instant Route Finder
Click&Go Map and Route Finder with public transit, walking, driving or cycling directions. Get up-to-the-minute transit times for your route.
Ratedout of 5
A lovely place to visit. Go down to the crypt for a look and you'll find out some interesting history behind the building.
tommy aquinas - 11 days ago
I attended an inviting Easter morning service with a nice choir singing in Latin. The building itself is beautiful and unique
Cheryl Fulton - 24 days ago
What a phenomenal building! A spectacular achievement of modern architecture. It reminds me of atmospheric conditioning plants seen in Aliens and also the crown of Sauron. Inside is equally as lovely if not hugely dystopian! The shear power and contrast of the light makes it so lovely to look at but it also certainly reminds me of dystopian/dark 70s/80s films. And the circular nature of it, being in the round it really makes me think of a cult! Looking up at the central piece you ca help but feel awestruck, the colours and radiance of it is almost overwhelming. My description may seem negative but I’m just trying to convey how powerful the building is.
Jessie Rxybald - 1 month ago
The circular space makes this a lovely place to relax and feel at peace with everything. Awesome structure. Lights and shadows chase each other around the building, neither prevailing over the other. Overall great place to be.
Raingod Dancing - 2 months ago