Set on the eastern side of Plaza Bolívar, Caracas' cathedral started its life in the mid-16th century as a mere mud-walled chapel. A church later replaced it, only to be flattened by the 1641 earthquake. Built from 1665 to 1713, the 'new' cathedral is packed with dazzling gilded altars and elaborate side chapels; the most famous is that of the Bolívar family, which can be easily recognized by a modern sculpture of The Liberator mourning his parents and bride.

Bolívar was baptized here, but the baptismal font now stands in the Casa Natal de Bolívar. Also take a look at the fine colonial altarpiece at the back of the chapel. The wide, five-nave interior, supported on 32 columns, was largely remodeled in the late 19th century.