Sao Paulo

São Paulo Cathedral

The Sao Paulo Cathedral, known in Portuguese as Catedral Metropolitana de Sao Paulo or Catedral da Se, is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is the largest cathedral in South America.

The Se Cathedral is located in the city center of Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is just off of the main square Praca da Se, in front of the Se metro subway station, where the red & blue subway lines cross.

The neo-Gothic cathedral was built on the site of an earlier cathedral and took from 1913 to 1967 to complete. Its building was interrupted by two world wars, which made it difficult to get the mosaics and other decorative elements from Italy. It was consecrated in 1954, on the 400th anniversary of the foundation of São Paulo. On the façade are statues of Old Testament prophets and Christ’s disciples. Although the rest of the church is neo-Gothic, it is capped by a Renaissance-style dome.

The interior has several interesting features, including the 10,000-pipe organ and stained glass windows picturing the history of Catholicism in Brazil. Be sure to notice the capitals on the columns, carved to represent Brazilian flora (branches of coffee and pineapples) and fauna, including armadillos. You can tour the crypt below the main church to see marble sculptures and tombs. The cathedral sits at the historic center of São Paulo, and is a good place to begin a walking tour of the old town.

It is the city’s main cathedral, that can hold up to 8,000 people making it the largest church in Sao Paulo. The Sao Paulo Metropolitan Cathedral is 111 meters long by 46 meters wide and has two towers with a height of 92 meters and also a dome that reaches over 30 meters.