Catedral Metropolitana

Vacation Travel Guide
Rio de Janeiro featuring a church or cathedral, modern architecture and religious aspects

With its futuristic Mayan pyramid-inspired design, this modern 20,000-capacity cathedral is a striking feature in the Rio de Janeiro cityscape.

The immense Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro) looks markedly different to most other Catholic cathedrals. Marvel at the mammoth pyramid-shaped structure from the outside and enter the interior to see the fabulous floor-to-ceiling stained-glass windows, which are particularly stunning when the sun shines in through them.

The cathedral was the brainchild of architect Edgar Fonseca, who took inspiration from the design of ancient Mayan temples. Construction on the cathedral began in the late 1960s and lasted for 12 years.

Although the concrete, glass and steel conical form of the cathedral is eye-catching from the outside, the real eye-popping features are to be found inside. Enter the cathedral to get a real sense of its scale. Measuring 75 meters (246 feet) in height and with an internal diameter of 96 meters (315 feet), the cathedral can host 5,000 seated worshippers and a whopping 20,000 standing.

Examine the four floor-to-ceiling strips of colorful stained-glass windows, which ascend up the edges of the cathedral’s walls. Note how they join at the top to form a cross-shaped skylight through which the sun’s rays often pour through to great effect. The church also features several other murals and sculptures, though these tend to be overshadowed by the vivid stained glass. In stark contrast to the modern style of the building itself, the wooden pews are traditional in style.

Descend into the basement level of the cathedral to access the Museu de Arte Sacra. Browse the religious-themed objects on show here, including a baptismal font that was used in a royal christening and the throne of Dom Pedro II, the last ruler of the Empire of Brazil. A statue of Mother Teresa can also be seen outside the front of the cathedral.

Find the Catedral Metropolitana in central Rio, not far from Bonde Station. The cathedral is open daily, from early morning until evening. The museum has limited opening hours on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday only. Entrance to the cathedral is free. Pay a small fee to enter the basement museum.

Top Hotels Close to Catedral Metropolitana

Hotel Atlantico Business Centro
Hotel Atlantico Business Centro
3.5 out of 5
Rua Senador Dantas, 25, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $26 per night from Jan 31 to Feb 1
Located in Rio de Janeiro Centro, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Cinelandia and Flamengo Beach. Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro and ...
3.8/5 Good! (980 reviews)
"The breakfast , pizza , drinks could be better. They didn’t clean the bedroom when we stayed there. The wifii is good and the staff friendly. It is Well located and affordable"

Reviewed on Oct 27, 2021

Hotel Atlantico Business Centro
Casa Nova Hotel
Casa Nova Hotel
3 out of 5
Rua do Riachuelo,105, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $28 per night from Feb 5 to Feb 6
Located in Santa Teresa, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Arcos da Lapa and Sambodrome. Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro and Flamengo ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (561 reviews)
Great hotel in Rio de Janeiro
"I and my wife enjoyed the stay at Casa Nova Hotel. The price was below what we could name as fair! The breakfast was fantastic and the location was wonderful."

Reviewed on Oct 5, 2020

Casa Nova Hotel
Prodigy Santos Dumont
Prodigy Santos Dumont
4 out of 5
Av. Almirante Silvio de Noronha, 365, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $80 per night from Feb 18 to Feb 19
Located in Rio de Janeiro Centro, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Museum of Modern Art, Consulate General of the United States Rio de Janeiro, and Flamengo ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (942 reviews)
"Our stay was great for our 1 night. Bed is huge and comfy and amenities, and breakfast was great! Only issue was when we first arrived, the sheets were lightly stained. We called the front desk and they responded promptly, bringing us freshly dried sheets. Customer service was excellent :)"

Reviewed on Jan 6, 2022

Prodigy Santos Dumont
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Catedral Metropolitana

Hotel Atlantico Business Centro
Hotel Atlantico Business Centro
3.5 out of 5
Rua Senador Dantas, 25, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $26 per night from Jan 31 to Feb 1
Hotel Atlantico Business Centro
Casa Nova Hotel
Casa Nova Hotel
3 out of 5
Rua do Riachuelo,105, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $28 per night from Feb 5 to Feb 6
Casa Nova Hotel
Prodigy Santos Dumont
Prodigy Santos Dumont
4 out of 5
Av. Almirante Silvio de Noronha, 365, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $80 per night from Feb 18 to Feb 19
Prodigy Santos Dumont
Selina Lapa Rio de Janeiro
Selina Lapa Rio de Janeiro
3 out of 5
Rua Visc. de Maranguape, 9 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro
The price is $36 per night from Feb 15 to Feb 16
Selina Lapa Rio de Janeiro
Windsor Asturias Hotel
Windsor Asturias Hotel
3 out of 5
Rua Senador Dantas 14-Cinelandia, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $46 per night from Jan 28 to Jan 29
Windsor Asturias Hotel
Hotel Atlântico Prime
Hotel Atlântico Prime
4 out of 5
Rua do Resende 87, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $50 per night from Jan 26 to Jan 27
Hotel Atlântico Prime
Hotel OK
Hotel OK
3.5 out of 5
Senador Dantas 24, Cinelândia, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $35 per night from Jan 25 to Jan 26
Hotel OK
Américas Granada Hotel
Américas Granada Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Avenida Gomes Freire, 530 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $36 per night from Jan 30 to Jan 31
Américas Granada Hotel
Vila Galé Rio de Janeiro
Vila Galé Rio de Janeiro
3.5 out of 5
Rua do Riachuelo,124, Centro do Rio de Janeiro - Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $66 per night from Jan 25 to Jan 26
Vila Galé Rio de Janeiro
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.