Who goes to Rio and does not know Candelária leaves the city with a sensation of not doing a complete ride. Beloved by the people, it’s one of the most famous and beautiful churches of Brazil. The Nossa Senhora da Candelária church receives a hundreds of tourists every day, and it’s located where there are a lot of cultural interest on the city.

The name of the church has an origin that it’s not proven historically. It tells the legend that, in the beginning of the century 17, a storm almost caused a wreck of a Spanish boat called Candelária. Where the captains Antonio Martins Palma and Leonor Gonçalves were. The couple would have made a promise to raise a hermitage dedicated to Nossa Senhora da Candelária whether they would scape alive. Fulfilling the promise, on the arrival in Rio, over 1609, they built a little chapel in the place where lately is the church.

However, the official records start only in 1710, when happened the first reform of the parish little church. On the second half of the century 18, the necessity of the extension made that the Staff Sergeant Francisco João Roscio, Portuguese military engineer, draw plans to the new edification like a latin cross, started in 1775, using the extracted material of the patroness of the city, at Catete.

The first opening was made in 1811 with works unfinished – there was only one nave and altars carved by Mestre Valentim – because of the presence of the prince regent and future king of Portugal, D. Joao VI. Mestre Valentim was the big artist like rococo style from Rio de Janeiro and unfortunately his works were replaced in the subsequent reforms. Some people use to say that the church reminds some works of portguese barroco scheduled from the century 18.

The facade, considered one of the most beautiful of the world, is directed to Guanabara bay, main entrance road of the city on the age of the construction. The plant has a latin cross format and all the history in painted on murals. On the century 19, the church’s Project was extended to the current configuration with three naves, keeping the original facade created by Francisco Roscio.

The dome, final part of the project, represented a big obstacle to the work between 1856 and 1877. Many architects need to intervene and the several part of the dome, made by Lioz Portuguese rock and brought from Lisboa, were finally installed following the 8 statues that decorates the church, sculpted by the Portuguese José Cesário de Salles. The dome of Candelária Church was for a long time the highest construction of the city.

In1878, the intern decoration Italian renaissance started to appear in the church because of the polychrome marble flooring on the walls and columns, differently of the usual on that age. The paintings on the murals belong to the Brazilian João Zeferino da Costa, professor of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts and the students Henrique Bernardelli, Oscar Pereira da Silva and Giambattista Castagneto helped him.

Other important details from the country side are the altar of the Brazilian Archimedes Memoria, the German stained glass and the big pulpits in art nouveau style of the Portuguese sculptor Rodolfo Pinto de Couto (1931). In 1901, were installed the beautiful brass doors on the entrance of the church, Portuguese Teixeira Lopes’ work.

Attention! Before visiting the location, please access the official website and/or social media of the tourist attraction to check opening hours and ticket information.


Praça Pio X, - Centro
Rio de Janeiro - RJ

+55 21 2233-2324

+55 21 3211-7000

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