Cathedral of Maringá is located in the town of Maringá – Floriano, Brazil and is one of the most important religious centers, the tallest church in South America and the 16th tallest church in the world. The peak of this amazing structure is more than 37 stories high and the building has a unique, modern design. The cathedral is one of the largest churches in Brazil with the capacity of nearly 4,700 people.

The structure was completed in 1972 and the design was inspired by the Russian satellite Sputnik, particularly its conical shape. As it is a Roman Catholic Church, the foundation stone was brought from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, which had been blessed by Pope Pius XII. This original stone was marked in the beginning of construction in August 1958. Cathedral of Maringá was completed in 1972, 14 years later.

Cathedral of Maringá is the landmark of the city and is also built in the center of the city. The interior of the church is ornate, including a large wooden crucifix that stands two stories tall and was carved by the famous Brazilian sculptor Conrado Mose.

The large building was designed to be the town’s landmark and can be seen from any reference point in the city with its penetration into the skyline. It’s so expansive, it extends several city blocks. The cathedral comprises 16 pyramid-shaped chapels, with the four largest ones forming the entrances.

The inner and outer cones of Cathedral of Maringá are connected by 598 steps that take visitors up 18 floors. On the 14th floor of the cathedral is an observatory which provides visitors an expansive view of the city. While going up the stairs, you can see the inscriptions given by various priests and prominent people of Maringá that have been laid to rest at the church. Cathedral of Maringá also has a museum with pictures and history of the church.

The story of the city of Maringá and the creation of Cathedral of Maringá has been documented by Father Orivaldo Robles in the book A Igreja Que Brotou da Mata, which translates to ‘The Church That Grew From the Forest.’

Tourists from all parts of the world make yearly pilgrimages to the cathedral, as it’s the most visited structure in the city. For more information, visit www.freshtraveldestinations.com.

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Kelly Legg has been writing for the Osprey Observer as a freelance writer for three years, and has recently taken on the role of managing editor for the Christian Voice newspaper. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications. She currently resides in Riverview with her husband and three children.