NileGuide Expert Says:
To see the cathedral at its best, visit on a sunny day , when the light will stream through the many windows and really bring the place to life. The exterior of the cathedral is not to everybody's taste, but seeing the interior when the sun is high in the sky will help you to appreciate the thinking behind the unusual design.
Avenida República de Chile, 245
20031-170 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
tel: +55 21 2240 2669
8a-midday, 1p-6p Mon-Fri; 8a-midday Sat-Sun
Very few buildings in Rio divide opinion as much as the Catedral Metropolitana, also known as the Catedral de Sao Sebastiao. An enormous concrete cone covered in tiny rectangular windows, the building intrigues some visitors and repels others. Designed by Edgar de Oliveira da Fonseca, the city's modernist cathedral cannot be fully appreciated from the outside, however. Once inside the cavernous building, those tiny windows begin to make aesthetic sense when, on a sunny day, light streams through them into the building. Beautifully ornate stained-glass windows can't fail to catch the eye, and nor can the huge wooden cross suspended from the ceiling. The Cathedral can be combined with a visit to the pretty hillside neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, as it sits right by the bonde (tram) station that ferries passengers to and from the neighbourhood. It's easily reached by taking a Metro to Carioca station.