The Cathedral of Brasilia was the very first monument to have been erected in the futuristic capital city of Brasilia. The designer of the cathedral, Oscar Niemeyer, was honored with the Pritzker Prize in 1988 for his avant-garde design, which came out as a powerful expression of the personality of the society in a unique form.
The structure of the metropolitan cathedral of Brasilia was completed in 1960. The diameter of the circular base is 70 feet. The structural design of the cathedral was proposed by engineer Joaquim Cardozo. Featuring a hyperboloid shape, the cathedral weighs 90 tons. After the installation of the external transparent glass, the Cathedral of Brasilia was inaugurated on May 31, 1970.
Cathedral of Brasilia Architecture
The square in front of the entrance of the cathedral has four bronze sculptures of 3 feet height that seem to guard the cathedral. These statues symbolize the evangelists. One of the sculptures weighs around 100 kg and is 2.22 m long, while the second one weighs about 200 kg and is 3.40 m long, and the third one is the largest among the three, with an average weight of more than 300 kg, and a height of 4.25 m.
The church has an oval Dome of the Baptistry and a bell tower consisting of four bells located near the main building. These bells were donated by Spain. The entrance to the church is a dark and narrow passage, lit up by the natural light coming from the infinite spaces. Right at the entrance of the church is a marble pillar with images of some passages of the life of Mother Mary, painted by Athos Bulcao. Once you enter the church, you would awe at the stained glass wall of the church, which has been made by joining 36,000 triangular pieces of the colored glass fiber, designed by Franco-Brazilian artist Marianne Peretti (in 1990). The church tower features a pentadent on top.
There are three angels suspended by steel cables from the ceiling inside the cathedral. The National Cathedral of Brasilia features the “Stations of the Cross” by Di Cavalcanti, the first replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta, and “The Angels” by Alfredo Ceschiatti. Pope Paul VI donated the altar for the church. Underneath the altar is the crypt that houses the replica of the Shroud of Turin. There are two small confession cabins in the church. The image of Our Lady Aparecida – the patron saint, is a copy of the original image in Aparecida – São Paulo.
The city of Brasilia is full of interesting places such as Sarah Kubitschek City Park, Brasilia’s Botanical Garden, Palacio do Planalto, JK Bridge, The Brazilian Congress, Palácio do Planalto, etc. The National Stadium of Brasilia, where FIFA World Cup 2014 will be held, is located at a walking distance from the cathedral.
Also Read : Top Things to Do in Brasilia
Cathedral of Brasilia Location Map
Cathedral of Brasilia Facts
- The foundation stone of the Cathedral of Brasilia was laid on September 12, 1958.
- The cathedral is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brasilia.
- It is called Catedral Metropolitana de Brasilia in the Portuguese language.
- Athos Bulcao painted the ceramic tiles of the baptistry in 1977.
Where is Cathedral of Brasilia?
The cathedral is located in the Esplanada dos Ministerios. The cathedral is about 13.8 km away from the Brasilia International Airport (via: DF-002). The nearest metro station is Galeria dos Estados.
Address : Esplanada dos Ministérios, lote 12, Brasilia – DF, 70050-000, Brazil
Best time to visit Cathedral of Brasilia
The best time to visit Brazil is from December through March, but the prices are quite high during this period. You may choose to visit the cathedral during the spring, when the weather is moderate.
Cathedral of Brasilia Hours
The Cathedral of Brasilia opens at 8:00 a.m. on all days. It closes at 6:00 p.m. on all days except on Mondays and Saturdays (closing time: 5:00 p.m.).
More on Cathedral of Brasilia
How many columns are there in the cathedral?
There are 16 columns in the cathedral.
What do the columns look like?
The columns resemble the rays of the sun or the spikes of the crown.
Why was the Cathedral of Brasilia built?
As Brasilia is an unparalleled city in terms of its conception, an equally unique church was required to complement its framework.
Related : Where is Brasilia?