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Churches in Brazil: Treading Back in Time

Updated: Apr 12, 2022

Brazil is a vibrant country with a rich history. The country has a strong religious culture and deeply rooted foundations that go back centuries. The many remarkable and famous churches across its landscape are a testament to its sacred history. The churches in Brazil are religious symbols. Above all, allow us to understand the emergence and evolution of Christianity.

The central religion of this South American country is Roman Catholicism. Hence, there are approximately three hundred Roman Catholic churches in Brazil. Despite having plenty of churches to see, some are considered Brazil's crown jewels. It is because of their nature, rich history, and structure.

Follow us as we tread back through time and unveil some of the most beloved of all cathedrals and famous churches in Brazil.

Catholicism in Brazil

Catholicism in Brazil

Brazil remains the largest Roman Catholic country on the planet. Around 2/3 of the country's population follows this religion. Due to this large population and widespread geography, the history of Catholicism in Brazil is far more complex than many believe.

Modern-day Brazilians have unearthed various ways to pay homage to their religion. While enjoying their lifestyle. The Brazilians frequent Gospel reading gatherings and grand Holy Week processions. The bursts of colors at a Brazilian religious event are also a beautiful sight to behold.

More than five hundred years ago, Portuguese settlers conquered Brazil. They brought Catholic churches in Brazil along with a myriad of cultural influences. German and Italian immigrants influence Brazilian culture. Alongside indigenous populations such as the Amazonia and Africans.

Looking at Catholicism from this perspective, we can take notice of the multifaceted nature of Catholicism in Brazil. It is a result of these influences that make religious practices across Brazil so diverse.

Churches in Rio de Janeiro

Churches in Rio de Janeiro

To this day, Catholicism is the main religion in Brazil. The religion was initially introduced and established through the missionaries and the colonists. Due to this rich ancient history, Brazil possesses one of the world's most outstanding cultural heritage. The various artistically crafted churches we see in Brazil show us this. Follow us along as we introduce some of the most significant churches in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro Cathedral

Our world is home to beautiful places of worship with intricate designs and elaborate architecture. They showcase the utter brilliance and artistry of the artists and the creatives involved in erecting them. Rio de Janeiro Church is one of the biggest churches in Brazil. Its angular futuristic design makes it look like it's from the future. The cathedral in Rio de Janeiro’s construction began in the late 1960s and continued well into the '70s.

Moreover, the church can accommodate up to twenty thousand people! The ornate doors, stained glass windows, and high-rise ceilings combine to give it the most breathtaking look we can imagine. The cathedral is very popular amongst the people of Rio. It appeals to religious and non-religious folks. As a result, they gravitate towards its unique design and architecture.

Similarly, you can also visit two famous churches in Rio das Flores, São José das Três Ilhas and Santa Tereza D'Ávila. These two churches are considered historical sites. If learning about history interested you, this is the place to be. While visiting Rio Das Flores, you’re welcome to stay at Kings Boutique Hotel. You will enjoy historical places like coffee farms and brewery Cachaçaria Werneck.

Additionally, two other famous churches that warrant a visit in case we are in Rio are São José das Três Ilhas and Santa Tereza D'Ávila Church. They are both located in Rio Das Flores.

Church of Saint Francis of Assisi Ouro Preto

This Church is located in Ouro Preto, Brazil. Its construction began in 1766 after architect Antonio Francisc Lisboa created its unique design. The interior of the church is decorated with beautiful golden woodwork and vivid paintings. Moreover, the ceiling proudly houses an intricate painting by Manuel da Costa Ataide.

This Church contains a relief sculpture within a roundel located at the centre of the façade. The sculpture shows St Francis accepting the stigmata as Jesus Christ appears among the clouds. The architecture surrounding this scene helps bring it forward and bursts life into it. This sculpture holds a special place in the hearts of many Brazilians.

Sao Paulo Cathedral

Sao Paulo Cathedral

The church stands near the Se metro station. Thus is easily reachable by foot from the Liberdade and Sao Bento metro stations. Sao Paulo Cathedral in Brazil pays homage to the Archdiocese of São Paulo, Brazil, and thus is the largest Catholic Church in the city.

This church in Brazil houses a crypt so enormous that it could double as a separate, underground church all on its own. Above the crypt is the main altar.

The vast hall above houses intricately designed arches and columns that support the ceiling. The arches are decorated with marble sculptures depicting various biblical stories.

The construction of this cathedral began in 1913 and lasted for almost four decades. This alone is a testament to its incredible beauty. The Sao Paulo church is widely considered the world's fourth-biggest neo-Gothic temple.

Hillsong Church Brazil

Hillsong Church Brazil

The Hillsong church is located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This church is a congregation of the Hillsong Church, which converges in Sao Paulo. The church describes itself as "young in spirit" and "all welcoming." It welcomes people from all different castes, creeds, and lifestyles.

The Hillsong church vows to uphold the motto of love and peace and mutual understanding of our individuality. They conduct reunions online and offer CityCare, volunteer opportunities for young people. Besides that, they also arrange connection groups to connect and spread goodness.

The Churches' senior pastors, Brain Houston and Lucy Mendez receive credit for opening this church. This city is considered the center of Latin America and can help spread its message to the surrounding areas.

The Hillsong group defines a "cool church" for modern times. Its all-inclusive and all-embracing culture drives forward hordes of the young generation. To find hope, faith, and purpose in an evolving world.


There's no doubt that Brazil has a rich religious and cultural heritage. In fact, it is what drives most of Brazil's tourism. If you ever plan on going to Brazil, visiting these famous churches, especially in Rio de Janeiro should be on the top of your bucket list. In case, you need a place to stay, Kings Boutique Hotel is ideally situated near two of Rio de Janeiro's main churches. So pick up that phone and contact us to book a room.


Q1: What is the most famous church in Brazil?

Ans: The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in Aparecida is the second-largest church in the world. This church is prevalent amongst Brazilians and the Rio de Janeiro Cathedral. It was built in 1955 and has the capacity to hold nearly 30,000 people.

Q2. How many churches does Brazil have?

Ans: Brazil is home to approximately 275 beautiful churches. Some of them are architectural marvels that hold the religious sentiments of the believers. Architectures, engineers, and skilled workers spent decades building these churches as a testament to their beliefs.

Q3. What is the main religion in Brazil?

Ans: To this day, Catholicism is the primary religion in Brazil. Similarly, Brazil is home to some of the oldest and marvellously constructed churches that serve as site seeing and religious practice. If you ever find Brazil, be sure to check them out.

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