Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral de Montevideo)
Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral is free to visit and open daily. Don't miss viewing the church's altar—by artist Fernando Izquierdo—and the colorful reliefs on the walls. You can visit side chapels, look up to the stained glass-adorned dome, and find tombs of important figures from Uruguay’s history. Easily pair a visit here with a stop at the Plaza Matriz flea market, or pass by on an Old City walking tour.
Things to know before you go
- The cathedral is typically busiest during mass.
- To find a great souvenir, visit the vendors selling handicrafts in Plaza Matriz.
- Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral is a destination for worship and meditation, so it's best to avoid using your cell phone or chatting loudly.
How to get there
You can find the Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral in the Old City, located across from Constitution Square, just a short walk from Plaza Matriz. The most convenient way to see the cathedral is on a guided tour; most Montevideo sightseeing tours pass the church. You can also hop on the bus. Take a route bound for Aduana or Ciudad Vieja, and disembark along Calle Cerrito.
When to get there
The church is open seven days a week and holds mass daily. Visit for religious services from Monday through Saturday, in the afternoon and evening, or for the once-daily Sunday mass. Guided cathedral tours are offered during the week, in the afternoon. Since the cathedral frequently hosts religious services and special events, including weddings, baptisms, and concerts, plan to visit during the week to avoid crowds.
Uncovering the History of the Cathedral
The origins of the church date to the Spanish colonial era. It was built in 1740 as a modest brick worship space, was consecrated in 1804, and later designated the Basilica Metropolitana by Pope Leo XIII. The church is named for the Immaculate Conception and honors Saints Philip and James, the patron saints of the city. The cathedral's distinctly Uruguayan touch is its side altar honoring The Virgin of the Thirty Three, the country's patroness.
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