Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Penha, Rio de Janeiro

4.2
#12 of 43 in Historic Sites in Rio de Janeiro
Religious Site Tourist Spot
Experience a 360-degree view of western Rio from Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Penha, a small church sitting atop one of the city’s largest favelas. The church is famous for its 382 stone steps, climbed by faithful pilgrims first by standing, and then by kneeling on each step. You too can reach the top on foot, or more comfortably by taking a short cable-car ride, which is free of charge. Dating back to the 17th century, the building was originally a small chapel built by a sea captain named Baltasar de Abreu Cardoso. Today the church is the site of frequent special masses and local celebrations. Time your visit for a special event to see local choirs and folkloric groups perform traditional songs and dances. Plan your visit to Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Penha and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Rio de Janeiro trip generator.
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Where to stay in Rio de Janeiro

Accommodations in Rio de Janeiro cover as diverse a spectrum as the city itself. At the top end, you can find plenty of luxury hotels along the beaches of Zona Sul, the city's southern zone, which includes the renowned Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. For something to suit a budget, but with good beach access, look around the less crowded neighborhoods of Catele and Flamengo. If you want to stay as centrally as possible, without feeling like you're in a business district, look for lodgings in the colorful, bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa.
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  • This is a fantastic gem in Rio. The cathedral is on the pinnacle of a tiny mountain top. You can see its prominent location from the freeway as you head south from the airport. There are 365 steps to ...  more »
  • Its far away from the zona sul area and a bit far from the center aswell, but definately worth it if you want to visit a beautiful little church with a great 360 view of western Rio.  more »
  • The sanctuary is situated in a great position, the view of Rio is amazing from there. To reach the church there are a lot of steps to climb, but nothing difficult. if you go by your car, just take car...  more »