Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria, Rio de Janeiro

#4 of 71 in Historic Sites in Rio de Janeiro
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The marble walls, abundant sculptural decoration, German stained-glass window and painted ceiling of Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria make for a decadent but breathtaking space. According to legend, in the beginnning of the 17th century a group of Spaniards first sponsored the building of a small chapel by the name Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria in order to fulfill an oath they swore when their ship, the "Candelária," was almost lost at sea. When this chapel eventually fell into repair, a larger, grander building was envisioned in its place. The facade, which incorporates both baroque and neo-classical elements, was completed by 1811, when the church was inaugurated in the presence of King John VI of Portugal, but it would be another 66 years before the distinctive white dome--constructed in Lisbon and brought to Brazil by ship--would be in place. Plan to visit Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Rio de Janeiro attractions using our Rio de Janeiro travel route planner.
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Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria reviews

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  • After having seen quite a number of "big & elaborate" cathedrals in the Spanish South America (countries such as Peru, Chile, Argentina & Uruguay) but in Brazil only those which are either big but...  more »
  • This church is very beautiful and the interiors are amazing....👍. It’s worth a visit when in RIO.The location is also easily accessible in Centro.  more »
  • Note - only open for the public in the mornings! The Candelaria is a beautiful historic church, probably the nicest one in Rio. Today it is mostly known for its violent modern history - the killing of eight street youth in front of the church in 1993. A monument in the shape of a simple cross is a stark reminder of the massacre.
  • It's a touristic point from the Rio de Janeiro, but doesn't have many interesting things to do there, just take a picture.

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