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Catedral Basílica Metropolitana

Location

Carrera 48 #56 - 64
La Candelaria, Medellín

Office Hours

8am to 4pm
Monday to Friday

Closed
Weekend & Holidays

Official Website

lacatedralmedellin.org

Catedral Basílica Metropolitana

Table of Contents

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Largest Church in Medellin

You can find this cathedral in the center of the city. It was proposed to be a National Monument of Colombia in 1982 and is the main church of the Archdiocese of Medellín. Because it is also considered the largest brick cathedral in Colombia, it is one of the most important religious tourist destinations in the city.
The Metropolitan Basilica Cathedral of Medellín began to be built in the year 1890 and its construction took more than 40 years to complete since it was inaugurated in 1931. The architectural style of this cathedral is neo-Romanesque and was made using solid brick. Approximately 1,120,000 bricks were used for its construction. A curiosity about this cathedral is that it has a small museum of religious art, however, it is not open to the public. Reportedly, there is a collection of approximately 40 pictorial works and 15 sculptural works that belong to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
This main church of the Archdiocese of Medellín is impressive to see and visit. You can even attend one of its masses since it is held at various times throughout the day, every day of the week.

About the Architecture

The Metropolitan Basilica Cathedral serves as the primary temple for the Archdiocese of Medellín and functions as the seat of the Archbishop and the Metropolitan Chapter. In June 12, 1948, Pope Pius XII bestowed upon the cathedral the liturgical designation of Minor Basilica through a papal brief.
Originally designed by the renowned French architect Charles Émile Carré (1863-1909), the cathedral showcases an impressive neo-Romanesque architectural style. Its layout follows a Latin cross plan, comprising three longitudinal naves intersected by the transept or transverse nave. Notably, the cathedral boasts two towers that soar to a height of 66 meters up to the cross.

The History of the Church

This cathedral has elements that stand out for the way they are made. Its pulpit was placed in 1930 and at that time it cost 5,000 COP, it is made of marble of different colors and is attached to a pillar. It has two Renaissance-style holy water fonts that resemble those of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome and 14 confessionals made of marble and wood that were donated by Pablo Tobón Uribe, a philanthropic and emblematic figure of the city of Medellín. He also donated the cathedral’s chandeliers, which are still in use and date from 1952.
As for the art of the cathedral, it has 14 Venetian frames that represent moments of the Via Crucis. It also has a baptismal font made entirely of marble. In total, the church has 224 pews to receive visitors, plus individual chairs for special guests.
Currently, the cathedral has seven bells, four of them also donated by Pablo Tobón Uribe and which are considered the largest bells in the church. They are used to announcing religious activities and together they weigh approximately 3,200 kilos. The largest of them is out of service since a long time ago because its sound is so loud that it would affect the windows of neighboring buildings.

Services Offered By the Cathedral

They offer services like the sacrament of baptism, first communion, confirmation for adolescents and young adults, confirmation for adults, the sacrament of marriage, and also offer visits and communion to the sick. If you want to request any of these services, on their website you will find the requirements for each one.
The cathedral also has a parish crypt or ossuary that can be visited every Wednesday and Friday from 10 am to 11 am
Apart from the masses, in the church, they held patron saint festivities, and concerts with the Medellín music network. There may also be other special events. These activities are carried out at particular times and dates that may be different from the hours of the masses.

Travel Tips & FYI

Since the Cathedral is located in the center of the city, you can easily walk to other places of interest like the Parque Bolívar park, which is a small square created in honor of the historical hero Simón Bolívar. Outdoor concerts are frequently held there on Sundays at 11 am.

Getting There & Parking​

Metro: You can use the A-line and get off at the Prado station, which is about four blocks away. However, this is not so recommended since this zone can be a bit problematic

Bus: You can take one of the buses C6014, C6009, or C6010, get off at Avenida Oriental, and walk to the church. This area is more crowded so it might be a safer path.

Taxi: This is the most recommended and safe option to get there. Taxi drivers know this area and where the cathedral is located very well, so it should not be a problem to get there.

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