Officially called the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the Medellín Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the largest brick buildings in the world and the largest cathedral in South America. Designed by French architect Emile Charles Carré and completed in 1931, the tawny towers took 56 years to construct.The Basics
Arguably Medellín’s most important religious structure, the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica is well worth a visit. Many sightseeing tours stop at the cathedral, giving visitors a chance to admire its enormity. The neo-Romanesque facade is certainly a main draw, but the cathedral’s interior is worth a look as well. It features 76 stained glass windows, a small museum of religious paintings and sculptures by notable artists, and an impressive organ, built in Germany in 1932 and shipped to Colombia; it’s one of the few remaining built before World War II.Things to Know Before You Go
- The Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica is a must-see for first-time visitors, architecture buffs, and spiritual travelers.
- Remember to dress respectfully, as this is an active place of worship.
- Stay alert to your surroundings and keep an eye on your possessions when visiting this area of the city.
How to Get There
The Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica is located on the north side of Bolivar Park in Downtown Medellín, about four blocks from the Prado metro station. If you’re visiting at night, it’s a good idea to take a taxi.When to Get There
The Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica is open daily in the mornings, when Mass is held hourly, as well as in the evening for Mass. The area surrounding the cathedral, particularly Bolivar Park (Parque Bolívar), can get seedy after dark, so plan to visit during daylight hours or take a taxi if you plan to attend an evening Mass.
Step outside the cathedral and you’ll find yourself in Parque Bolívar, named after South American liberator Simón Bolívar. The highlight of this park is an Italian-designed statue of the local hero perched atop a horse, cast in 1923. Vendors often set up shop in the park, and a crafts fair takes place here on the first Saturday of each month.