Church of Our Lady of Candelaria
First established by a group of Spanish settlers in 1609, after the near-sinking of their ship Candelaria in a storm, the church began as a small chapel. Construction started on the current edifice in 1775, continuing through the end of the colonial period and unfinished until 1877, when the Portuguese stone dome was installed, crowning the church and the entire city. The very next year, a redesign of the interior began, involving the covering of the austere stone walls with Italianate marble, and establishing the juxtaposition of the Neo-Renaissance design inside with the church’s Baroque exterior. To bring the cathedral into the 20th century, two bronze Art Nouveau pulpits were installed in 1931, adding a Modernist touch to this centuries-old masterpiece.