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If we had to pick just one church in Montevideo, this cathedral would win hands down.

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Catedral de Montevideo

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This is the first church in the city and its main Catholic church. As such, it is also known locally as the Matriz Iglesia. Dating back to the colonial era, it is a clear example of Spanish neo-classicism, with three naves, a transept and a dome supported by a cylindrical drum. The first stone was laid in 1790, marking the beginning of an ambitious project undertaken by the Portuguese architect José Custodio de Saá y Faría and continued by the Spanish Tomás Toribio. The initial build took fourteen years, but the cathedral has been renovated on several occasions over its long history, always in keeping with its neo-classical style. It was declared a cathedral in 1878, under Pope Leo XIII, when it received the status of Metropolitan Cathedral. In addition to religious ceremonies, Montevideo cathedral also hosts a range of cultural events and choir concerts.



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