For most visitors, Sao Bento should head the list. This church
and adjoining Benedictine monastery date to the early 17th century.
While the exterior is austere, the interior overwhelms with gilded
swirls, angels and cherubs sculpted in native woods. In its early
days, priests sang from four small balconies lining a side chapel.
Today, Sunday Mass is accompanied by Gregorian chants.The Gloria church, situated atop a hill, was the site of
several royal baptisms and marriages. In addition to ceiling
paintings and wood engravings used for ornamentation, tiles,
painted in Biblical themes, cover some walls. A museum of religious
art stands behind the church.Located in the midst of the business district, the Candelaria
church once dwarfed its surroundings. The site's first church was
built to fulfill a vow made by a shipwrecked captain. A Neoclassic
dome, built of Portuguese limestone, is perhaps its most notable
characteristic.Architecturally unique, the cone-shaped Metropolitan Cathedral
soars 315 feet.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- As with many destinations, church-viewing
here heightens architectural awareness and provides insights into
the country's culture.
A government-published guidebook describes 71 historical
churches, ranging from chapels to the Metropolitan Cathedral, all
within the city limits. A sampling follows:
The massive interior, which can accommodate 20,000, is
brightened by stained glass windows which divide the walls at the
four cardinal points.