Conical Rio de Janeiro Cathedral Based off of Mayan Pyramids

Trevor English

outside seeing in[Image Source: Flickr]

Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Olympics this year, and of their many architectural wonders, the Rio de Janeiro Cathedral may top the list at most beautiful. Better known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, it is the centralized location of the Catholic church in the area. At 106 meters in diameter, and 96 meters tall it is quite the sight to see, and it was styled after the Mayan pyramid building structures. Designed by Edgar Fonseca, a student of Oscar Niemeyer, the beautiful cathedral was completed in 1976 after 12 years of construction. From the outside, the building looks interesting, but the real beauty is seen once you set foot inside the sanctuary.

inside rio[Image Source: Wikimedia]

The front door to the building is 18 meters tall and made entirely out of bronze. There is seating room for 5,000 people, but enough space for 20,000 inside if they want to stand. The interior space adds up to around 8,000 square meters, and the scale of the building is hard to grasp through images. Part of what makes this building so architecturally stunning are the 4 massive stained glass windows that stretch the entire vertical height of the building. Each one stretches 64 meters tall and were custom designed for the beautiful structure.

outside of cathedral[Image Source: Wikimedia]

The basement of the cathedral houses the Sacred Art Museum, which is home to many religious and cultural works from the area. While this cathedral will likely be busy with tourists while the Olympics are taking place this fall, it should definitely make your list of places to go visit. The honeycomb structural style the building was built with gives it a unique feel, and it lands it on the list of most architecturally magnificent churches throughout the world.

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