See the tombs of a former imperial family, the relics of revered saints and a stunning series of stained-glass windows at this 19th-century church.
In a city filled with European-influenced landmarks, the Cathedral of Saint Peter of Alcantara (Catedral São Pedro de Alcântara) stands out as one of the finest in Petrópolis. Experience the spiritual charm of this religious center as you admire its beautiful interior. Find the tomb of Brazil’s last emperor and scrutinize works by French and Italian artists. The Cathedral of Saint Peter of Alcantara is dedicated to its namesake saint, the patron saint of Brazil.
The cathedral dates back to the late 1800s but work continued until the 1960s. Its façade features a French neo-Gothic design with tall windows and multiple spires. Gaze up at the soaring bell tower, which was one of the last attributes to be added. The entrance doors weigh an impressive 5,300 pounds (2,400 kilograms) each.
The interior is characterized by an airy nave with high vaulted ceilings and a pristine marble floor. A collection of stained-glass windows by the Italian-born painter Carlos Oswald decorates the walls. Inspect their colorful images portraying popular scenes from the Bible. You can also see statues by the French sculptor Jean Magrou.
To the rear of the cathedral see the mausoleum of the family of Dom Pedro II. He reigned as the ruler of the Empire of Brazil from 1831 to 1889. Alongside his tomb are those of his wife, the Empress Teresa Cristina and his daughter and her family. On the altar are relics of the saints Aurelia, Magno and Telia. Cardinal Sebastião Leme da Silveira Cintra gifted them to the cathedral upon his return from Rome.
Find the church in the historic center of Petrópolis. It’s a short walk from other major city attractions. Among these are the Crystal Palace, the Imperial Museum and the Yellow Palace. Another fun activity here is the guided tour of the Cervejaria Bohemia, which is the oldest brewery in Brazil.
Visit the Cathedral of Saint Peter of Alcantara any day. Admission is free. Photography is allowed inside the cathedral.