Walking Tour: Churches and Cathedrals, Sao Paolo, Sao Paulo (Self Guided)

Sao Paulo is an important religious center in Brazil. There are many beautiful churches and cathedrals built in a traditional, old colonial style. Most of them are Catholic-affiliated, but you will also find a few Orthodox. The following self-guided walking tour will lead you through these sacred places.
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Walking Tour: Churches and Cathedrals, Sao Paolo Map

Guide Name: Walking Tour: Churches and Cathedrals, Sao Paolo
Guide Location: Brazil » Sao Paulo (See other walking tours in Sao Paulo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Author: vickyc
1
Armenian Orthodox Church Sao Jorge

1) Armenian Orthodox Church Sao Jorge

Armenian Orthodox Church Sao Jorge is a church established in Sao Paulo by Armenian immigrants. This nation experienced dispare during the Armenian genocide by Turkish. The origin of the Armenian church dates back to the Apostolic age and had transformed from Christian-based to Catholic-based religion.
2
Church of Our Lady of Help

2) Church of Our Lady of Help

The Church of Our Lady of Help (Igreja Nossa Senhora Auxiliadoro) is another beautiful Catholic church in Sao Paulo. There is a small park with beautiful Brazil monuments in front and it features Italian edifices of historical importance.
3
Church of St. Ifigenia

3) Church of St. Ifigenia (must see)

Located near the Anhangabaú Valley, the current Church of Santa Ifigenia was built on the site of one of the oldest chapels of the city, the Chapel of Our Lady of Conception, built before 1720. This first chapel was renovated in 1794, and by disposition of the prince regent Don João VI, in 1809 the parish of Our Lady of the Conception and Santa Ifigenia appeared.

Between 1930 and 1954, due to the construction of the cathedral of St. Paul, the church of Santa Ifigenia served as cathedral of the city. On April 18, 1958, the church was elevated to the rank of basilica, under the name of Basilica of the Blessed Sacrament, by Pope Pius XII. It was protected by the Municipal Council of Historic, Cultural and Environmental Preservation of the City of Sao Paulo (CONPRESP) in 1992.

Why You Should Visit:
One of the oldest chapels in Sao Paulo, with all ceilings painted, preserved stained glass, and beautiful floor; a little weathered and dark inside but cozy in its simplicity and very picturesque.

Tip:
Plan your visit on weekdays during business hours as it is a desert area at night.
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of Black Men

4) The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of Black Men

Africans have been a part of Brazilian culture since the 16th century when they were brought to the country as slaves to work on the many plantations. In addition, African culture has merged seamlessly with the Catholic religion, the European culture, and is an integral part of the fiber of Brazil.

The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary of Black Men, also known as Largo Paicandu Church, demonstrates this admixture. Located on the R. das Portas do Carmo, construction of the house of worship was completed in 1820. The church was needed because black slaves were denied entry into European churches. The place of worship is decorated with the images of black saints. Two famous saints you will see when you visit are Saint Anthony of Catigerona, an African, and Saint Benedict, a Moor.

What is impressive about this majestic blue structure is that the slaves built it themselves and provided their own materials. Construction of the church began in 1704 and took over 100 years to complete. The design of the church is Baroque. There are three altars, one of which has gold engraving. The building is a beautiful example of 17th century design. It is worth a visit just to see the Tuesday Mass at 6 pm that features African drumming and Yoruba ceremonies.
5
São Bento Monastery

5) São Bento Monastery (must see)

When visiting Sao Paulo, one must make an effort to visit the São Bento Monastery. This monastery features delicious pastries personally baked by the monks. In addition, they offer musical concerts and events, workshops, and perform Gregorian chants at mass daily. The architect was Richard Blend. The interior of the place of worship was designed by D. Adelbert Gresnicht. It is the oldest institution in Sao Paulo.

Although the exterior of the building is fairly simple, the interior of the church is beautifully decorated with woodwork, sculptures, and paintings. A clear German influence can be seen inside the building. There are no words that can accurately describe just how stunning the cathedral is. One must visit in person to truly understand.

A brunch is held on last Sunday of each month. It is at this feast where the delicious pastries and breads are served, along with a tasty meal. The pastries are very popular with the public. Patrons have the option, while dining, to purchase works of art.

The monastery is conveniently located on 25 de Marco Street, a very popular shopping area and is close to the São Bento subway station. Visitors will also enjoy the monastery shop, where more pastries can be bought, the nearby Bar Salve Jorge, and the Café Girondino.

Why You Should Visit:
The floor, the ceiling, the walls, the altar and the domes will keep calling you to have a second and third and tenth look at their beautiful art.
The services, the office in Gregorian chant sung by the monks, are very beautiful, several times a day. There's even Latin mass on Sundays, with organ and Gregorian chant.

Tip:
Don't miss the bakery full of ancient monks recipes such as the wine cake and their handmade bread, nor the gift shop as they have real treasures there!
Additionally, there's a huge bell on top of the church, which is accessible, and a mysterious underground tunnel (ask the priests).
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Church of St Anthony

6) Church of St Anthony

Church of St Anthony, built in the 16th century, is one of the oldest churches of Sao Paulo. It is set in the downtown area of the city and is home to precious works of art of the old colonial period. Its altar showcases traditional Baroque style architecture.
7
Metropolitan Cathedral

7) Metropolitan Cathedral (must see)

The Metropolitan Cathedral, often called the Catedral da Se, is home to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sao Paulo. The building features a Neo-Gothic style and stained glass windows. Its construction began in 1913 and ended four decades later. Despite having a Renaissance-styled dome, the Cathedral is considered by some to be the 4th largest neo-gothic cathedral in the world.

It has one of the largest organs in South America and several artistic renditions of the Virgin Mary. Many bishops and archbishops are buried in the tombs. Two of the most important crypts are the vault of Father Diogo Antônio Feijó and the Chieftan Tibirica. Tibirica helped to welcome the first Jesuits to the Piratininga Plateau and to found the villa of Sao Paulo. Father Feijó was head of state during the infancy of Emperor Pedro.

The current structure is the third version of the cathedral. The first church was in service from 1598 to 1616 until it was demolished for a new building. The second building was in use from 1764 to 1911, and the third place of worship was constructed in 1913. It is 111 meters long and has a seating capacity of 8,000. After a long period of decay, the Cathedral underwent a complete renovation between 2000 and 2002. Apart from repairing the building, many pinnacles over the nave and towers were completed. The original 1912 construction plans were found inside the building, allowing for a faithful restoration.

Why You Should Visit:
Just to observe the details of the huge doors and niches with sculptures is worth a stop; however, on the inside, the mix of modern and ancient has been achieved remarkably well and the tour to the crypts is unique.

Tip:
Tourists beware: the plaza where the Cathedral is located is home to drug addicts, grifters and beggars, so it is advised to visit only during the day and use a low-key approach. The contrast between the sacred and the profane is an eye opener and an interesting portrait of this city of huge contrasts.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Create Your Own Walk in Sao Paulo

Create Your Own Walk in Sao Paulo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Sao Paulo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Today's São Paulo is a vibrant city, one of the world's most populated. Brazil's major financial hub, it is also noted for the rich cultural and architectural setting, featuring a tasteful mix of ancient colonial and modernist buildings coexisting in harmony. This walk will see you through São Paulo's historic center from Jardim da Luz down to the Japanese Quarter.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
West Zone Nightlife 2

West Zone Nightlife 2

Sao Paulo is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world, renowned for its famous landmarks and rich culture. It is often compared to New York because its people "never sleep". If you are a fan of hot nights, clubs and music, or simply want to have fun, Sao Paulo offers a great selection of places to go: restaurants, bars, cafes, nightclubs, and more. Take the following...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Ibirapuera Park Tour in Sao Paulo

Ibirapuera Park Tour in Sao Paulo

Located in the very heart of Sao Paulo, Ibirapuera Park is the city's most famous attraction. The park was designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer together with landscapist Roberto Burle Marx. It opened to the public on the 21st August, 1954. With a total space of 2 million square meters, the park features a beautiful landscape, filled with lakes, fountains, monuments, theaters, playgrounds,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Self-Guided Tour: Museums of Sao Paulo

Self-Guided Tour: Museums of Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo is the largest city in Brazil and the 7th largest megapolis area in the world. Its population is a cultural melting pot, made of immigrants from across the globe. It is home to several museums that showcase the various cultures of those who have settled here. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most popular museums of Sao Paulo:

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.1 km
Central Nightlife

Central Nightlife

Sao Paulo is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world, renowned for its famous landmarks and rich culture. It is often compared to New York because its people "never sleep". If you are a fan of hot nights, clubs and music, or simply want to have fun, Sao Paulo offers a great selection of places to go: restaurants, bars, cafes, nightclubs, and more. Take the following...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 km
West Zone Nightlife 1

West Zone Nightlife 1

Sao Paulo is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world, renowned for its famous landmarks and rich culture. It is often compared to New York because its people "never sleep". If you are a fan of hot nights, clubs and music, or simply want to have fun, Sao Paulo offers a great selection of places to go: restaurants, bars, cafes, nightclubs, and more. Take the following...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Sao Paulo for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Sao Paulo has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Sao Paulo, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.