A igreja e o convento Santo Antônio são cenários da arquitetura colonial e expressão do barroco nacional português. Possui uma das mais belas sacristias do Brasil. A igreja tem três retábulos dedicados ao santo padroeiro, a Nossa Senhora da Conceição e a São Francisco de Assis.

O convento foi palco de grandes acontecimentos importantes para a história da cidade do Rio de Janeiro e para o país. Em 1710 Santo Antônio defende a cidade e a população contra os invasores franceses (começa a receber títulos militares); em 1776, foi instituída uma universidade com 13 cadeiras; em 1822, Frei Francisco de Tereza de Jesus Sampaio redige o “Manifesto do Povo”; entre os anos de 1854 a 1872, abrigou o Arquivo Nacional; entre os anos de 1885 a 1901, aquartelamento do 7º Batalhão de Infantaria do Exército; em 1870, Vitor Meireles pintou duas telas no convento (localizadas no MHN – Museu Histórico Nacional), entre outros fatos. No Mausoléu, estão sepultados filhos e filhas de Dom Pedro I e de Dom Pedro II.

La chiesa e il convento di Santo Antônio sono scene di architettura coloniale e di espressione del barocco nazionale portoghese. Nel 1710 S. Antonio difende la città e la popolazione contro i francesi invasori (inizia a ricevere titoli militare) nel 1776, è stata istituita una università, nel 1822, Fray Francisco de Tereza de Jesus Sampaio scrive il "Manifesto del popolo"; tra gli anni 1854 al 1872, ospita l'Archivio Nazionale, nel periodo tra il 1885 e 1901, la 7a caserma del Battaglione di Fanteria dell'esercito, nel 1870, Vitor Meireles dipinte due tele nel convento (che si trova in MHN - Museo Nazionale di Storia) tra gli altri fatti.

Nel mausoleo sono sepolti i figli Dom Pedro I e Dom Pedro II. Il patrono è festeggiato per 13 giorni in preparazione per la festa solenne che si celebra il 13 giugno, data della morte del santo. Nel 2008 è stato celebrato il 326 ° Trezena di San Antonio e 400 anni di fondazione della chiesa e del convento.

The church and the convent of St. Anthony in Carioca Square, Rio de Janeiro, were founded by the Franciscan Friar Vicente do Salvador on the 4th of June 1608. Friar Salvador, now known as the father of Brazilian historiography, wrote the first History of Brazil. A particular fact: the foundations of the convent are 1,95 meters thick, the walls on the ground floor are 1,20 meters thick, and those on the second floor are one meter thick. The ceiling, which is dedicated to St. Ann, in still the original one. The walls show precious paintings depicting St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Gregory the Great , St. Cecilia and Margaret of Antioch. The crucifix, with a canopy, and two paintings (of the Virgin and of St. John the Evangelist) are part of an oratory that used to be in the choir. This room was the University’s Aula Magna (13 chairs), which stood from june 1776 until shortly after 1820. Special attention should be paid to the Chapel of the Porziuncola, which is attached to the Church. The bones of Friar Fabiano de Cristo, who died with a reputation for sanctity on the 17th of October, 1747, lie here. He was a Friar-nurse and many miracles are attributed to him. The Friar of the convent best known for sancitity is Friar Antonio de Sant’Ana Galvão, who studied here between 1761 and 1762, and became a priest on the 11th of July 1762. Bi-location was attributed to Friar Galvão in 1802: he was present at a meeting of Friars in Rio and, at the same time, was present on a farm in São Paulo, helping a woman to give birth.

The convent is home to the imperial mausoleum. The remain of two Dom Pedro’s children with Dona Leopoldina (Paula Mariana and João Carlos) of two of Dom Pedro II children with Dona Teresa Cristina (Antonio Afonso and Afonso) and fetus of an offspring of Princess Isabel and Count D’Eu (Luiza Vitória) lie there. The remains of Empress Maria Leopoldina were kept in the mausoleum until 1954. They now lie in the Ipiranga Monument in São Paulo. In that same spot in the mausoleum there now lies the body of Maria Amelia, daughter of Dom Pedro I and Amelia Augusta, which was brought from Portugal in 1982.

The church was designed in a discrete baroque pattern. On the main altar there is an extremely beautiful terracotta statue of St. Anthony. This statue is mentioned in stories written since 1710. A smaller one, also made of baked clay, stood there before this statue was placed there.

The expulsion of the French from Rio de Janeiro is attributed to this statue and the people, therefore, did not want it to be returned to its place on the altar. Instead, they demanded that it be kept in front of the church so that it could protect Guanabara Bay day and night. Since then, a votive lamp has been kept lit. The statue is now known as St. Anthony of the Dew. It was paid a military wage, that of the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, until 1911. Its salary was used to fund soup kitchen programs. The statues of the Immaculate Conception and St. Francis on the side altars are not original. They are there since 1923.