Building Name – The Cathedral of Brasilia Maturana
Location – Brasilia, Brazil
Architect – Oscar Niemeyer
Year of Start – September 12, 1958
Year of End – May 31, 1970
- With a diameter of 70m, the only visible structure of the cathedral being sixteen concrete columns with a very peculiar shape. Reaching up towards the sky to represent two hands, the columns have parabolic sections.
- The cathedral is a hyperboloid structure constructed from 16 concrete columns, weighing 90 tons each.
- In the square access to the cathedral, are four 3-meter (9.8 ft) tall bronze sculptures representing the four Evangelists created by sculptor Dante Croce in 1968.
- A 20-meter (66 ft) tall bell tower containing four large bells donated by Spanish residents of Brazil and cast in Miranda de Ebro also stands outside the cathedral, to the right as visitors face the entrance.
- At the entrance of the cathedral is a pillar with passages from the life of Mary, mother of Jesus, painted by Athos.
- A 12-meter (39 ft) wide, 40-centimeter (16 in) deep reflecting pool surrounds the cathedral roof, helping to cool the cathedral. Visitors pass under this pool when entering the cathedral.
- The baptistry is to the left of the entrance, and can be entered either from the cathedral or via a spiral staircase from the entrance plaza.
- The walls of the oval baptistery are covered in ceramic tiles painted in 1977 by Athos Bulcão.
- Offices for the Archdiocese of Brasilia were completed in 2007 next to the cathedral.
- The 3,000sq.m. (32,000 sq ft) building connects directly to the cathedral underground.
- Visitors enter into the cathedral through a dark tunnel and emerge into a bright space with a glass roof.
- The outer roof of the cathedral is composed of sixteen pieces offiberglass, each 10 meters (33 ft) wide at the base and 30 meters (98 ft) long inserted between the concrete pillars.
- Under this is suspended a 2,000-square-meter (22,000 sq ft) stained glass work originally created in 1990 by Marianne Peretti, in shades of blue, green, white, and brown.
- Inside the cathedral over the nave are sculptures of three angels, suspended by steel cables.
- The shortest is 2.22 meters (7 ft 3 in) long and weighs 100 kilograms (220 lb), the middle one 3.4 meters (11 ft) long and weighs 200 kilograms (440 lb), and the largest is 4.25 meters (13.9 ft) long and weighs 300 kilograms (660 lb).
- The sculptures are by Alfredo Ceschiatti, with the collaboration of Dante Croce in 1970.
- The altar was donated by Pope Paul VI and the image of the patron saint Our Lady of Aparecida is a replica of the original which is in Aparecida – São Paulo.
- The Way of the Cross is a work of Di Cavalcanti.
- Under the main altar is a small chapel accessible by steps from on either side of and behind the altar.
- The Chathedral is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of Our Lady of Aparecida, proclaimed by the Church as Queen and Patroness of Brazil.
- Most of the cathedral is below ground, with only the 70-meter (230 ft) diameter 42-meter (138 ft) roof of the cathedral, the void roof of the baptistry, and the bell tower visible above ground.