Catedral de São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro

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Catedral de São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro

The exterior of this circa-1960 metropolitan cathedral, which looks like a concrete beehive, divides opinion. The daring modern design stands in sharp contrast to the baroque style of other churches in Rio, but don't judge until you've stepped inside. When light floods through the colorful stained-glass windows, it transforms the interior—which is 80 meters (263 feet) high and 96 meters (315 feet) in diameter—into a warm, serious place of worship that accommodates up to 20,000 people. An 8½-ton granite rock lends considerable weight to the concept of an altar.

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