With almost 200 years difference between them, each has its own charm and history
Two of the city's iconic symbols within walking distance from one another
Located on 1st do Março Street, the Nossa Senhora do Monte do Cormo Church officially opened in 1770 to give the Carmelite nuns a temple in which to pray. The first few years were dedicated to its interior design, worked on by Mestre Valentim and Inácio Ferreira Pinto, two of Rio de Janeiro's most important colonial artists. After the Napoleonic Invasion of Portugal in 1808, the Portuguese Royal Family were forced to settle in the city, and used the convent as a Royal Chapel. This period featured some important historical events, such as the funeral of Queen María I, in 1916. Six years later, once Brazil announced its independence, the chapel was renamed the Rio de Janeiro Cathedral. Portuguese architect Pedro Alexandre Cavroé was commissioned to complete its unfinished front and give it a subtle neoclassical feel. In 1964 construction of the new cathedral started in Avenida de la República de Chile, in honour of São Sebastião. It opened in 1976 and was popularly known as the Metropolitana (www.catedral.com.br). It is a large conical-shaped structure, 96 metres in diameter and 75 in height. It is currently home to the Archdiocese of Río de Janeiro.