Walking through the middle of Curitiba’s historic center, there’s no chance of missing the city’s cathedral, Basilica Minor of Our Lady of Light, which dominates Praça Tiradentes. Built in 1876 in the Neo-Gothic style, the church features several stained-glass windows and paintings by artists such as Italian brothers Carlos and Anacleto Garbaccio within. The structure was designed by a French architect who is said to have been inspired by Barcelona’s Metropolitan Cathedral, another large, Gothic place of worship. Curitiba’s Metropolitan Cathedral sits on the very spot where the city’s first Catholic church was constructed back in 1693.
At the right-side entrance, visitors have a chance to see the chair where Pope John Paul II sat when he visited the city in 1980. Near the altar is a 30-foot (nine-meter) deep well, which is believed by historians to be the only remaining piece of the original structure. The cathedral is most easily spotted on a stroll through the park and is included in many walking and bus tours.
The cathedral is located on Rua Barão do Serro Azul, 31 in Praça Tiradentes, the historic center of Curitiba. Visiting hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Mass is given twice a day Monday through Friday (at noon and 6 p.m.) and on Saturday (at noon and 3 p.m.). It is performed three times on Sunday (at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in Portuguese and at noon in English). Admission is free.