Candelária Church

Cultural Heritage - Rio de Janeiro


Photo Gallery

 Photo: Isabela Kassow/Diadorim Ideias
< >

Browse the Map

A curious fact that was key to the building of the church was a vow made by Antonio Martins da Palma and his wife Leonor Gonçalves, in the17th century. During a ship journey to Rio de Janeiro, a tempest almost wrecked the ship.

Devotees of Our Lady of Candelária, they made a vow to the saint Santa in which they promised to build a church in her praise if they arrived safely at their destination. They survived the hardship and built a small chapel at Pio XI Square, which opened in August 18th 1634, and would be the origin of Candelária church.

In 1775, a new temple was built due to the poor conservation of the church. On July 10th 1898 the new church opened to the public. The Candelária church interior was built in Crux immissa shape, with central nave constituting the longer arm of the cross and the presbytery the smaller arm. Both equal-sized arms correspond to chapels with the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Sorrows.

The church interior is in marble, the façade in stonework and doors in bronze work made in 1901 by Portuguese sculptor Antonio Teixeira Lopes. The vertical façade is inspired in Gothic architecture with neoclassical features in the ornaments and the triangular pediment. Both spires have clocks on them - one indicating the time of the day and the other indicates the day, week and moon phase.

The nave ceiling has six Zeferino da Costa panels which tell the history of the church, considered one of the most stunning in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The artist is also responsible for the panels which decorate the higher area of the dome and represent figures in the Old Testament, the Virgin Mary and the Seven Virtues. The church also hosts a sacred art museum, a collection of 18th and 19th century documents opened in 2001. 

The church is home to the Santíssimo Sacramento da Candelária Fraternity, a charity responsible, among other activities, for the Frei Antônio boarding (former Lázaros hospital, a pioneer in leprosy treatment in Rio), and the Gonçalves de Araújo educational institution (a mixed day school offering elementary education).

The fraternity also organizes photography exhibitions and meetings to promote the art and history of Candelária, as well as classical and religious music performances that occur within the church or in the historic-cultural complex in Rio de Janeiro (such as the Banco do Brasil and the Navy Cultural Centers, among others). 

General Information

Address: Pio X Square, Rio de Janeiro.
Phone: (+55 21) 2233-2324
Opening hours:

Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 3:50pm; Saturday, from 9am to 12pm; Sunday, from 9am to 1pmMonday to Friday from 7:30am to 3:50pm; Saturday, from 9am to 12pm; Sunday, from 9am to 1pm


Secretaria de Cultura do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Petrobras

Apple Store Google Play

Coordination and Content Production    Diadorim ideias & comunicações