Apart from its wealth of natural wonders, Brazil also boasts an impressive number of majestic monuments. The Cathedral of Brasília is one such magnificent construction designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer and it was the very first monument ever built in the capital city of Brasília. Its foundation stone was laid on 12 September 1958 and the structure was completed in 1960. The circular structure alone measures 70 metres in diameter, from which 16 concrete columns (parabolic section pillars) rise to the sky in a hyperboloid shape and weighing 90 tons each.
The Cathedral of Brasília was inaugurated on 31 May 1970, when the transparent, external glass was added as a final touch to the magnificent and modern construction. Four 3 metres high bronze statues representing the evangelists guard the access to the temple. These masterpieces are the result of the collaborative work of Alfredo Ceschiatti and Dante Croce. The three angels suspended by steel cables welcome you inside the nave. Because everything about the cathedral is magnificent, these sculptures could not have been an exception. With considerable lengths of 2.22 m, 3.40 m and 4.25 m, respectively, none of the statues weighs below 100 kg (the smallest), 200 kg (the medium-sized one), and 300 kg (the largest).
The walls of the ovoid-shaped baptistery covered in ceramic tiles were painted by Athos Bulcão in 1977. The bell tower of the cathedral is another masterpiece of architecture, comprising of four monumental bells donated by Spain, which fit in the architectural ensemble perfectly. The stained glass window of the nave roof consists of 16 pieces of fiberglass, which artistically combine shades of blue, green, white and brown, creating an eye-catching contrast with the concrete pillars between which they are inserted. Each piece has a triangular shape, measuring 10 metres at the base and 30 metres in height, according to the design created by Marianne Peretti in 1990.
The cathedral’s altar was donated by Pope Paul VI. The image of the patroness, Nossa Senhora Aparecida (Our Lady of Aparecida) is the replica of the original found in Aparecida, São Paulo. The splendid Via Sacra is a work of Di Cavalcanti, while the pillar showing passages of the life of Virgin Mary, painted by Athos Bulcão, strategically placed at the entrance incites the visitors’ curiosity warmly welcoming them in by telling the story of the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin’s life through images.