Last edited 17 May 2021

Cathedral of Brasilia


The Cathedral of Brasilia is a Roman Catholic cathedral which serves as the seat of the Archdiocese of Brasilia. It is one of many public buildings in the Brazilian capital which were designed by the architect Oscar Niemeyer. Niemeyer’s intention was to create a volume that has the same ‘purity’ from any perspective.

The cathedral is a hyperbolic structure built from concrete. It measures 40 m in height and is capable of holding up to 4,000 people. The base is circular and measures around 60 m in diameter.

The structure, with its glass ceiling, is supported by 16 curved steel columns which weigh 90 tonnes each. The large stained glass windows are shaped into triangles that fit together between the columns. The windows measure 30 m high and 10 m across at the base.


The cathedral’s bell tower houses four bells that were donated by Spain. Inside the nave, three sculptures of angels are suspended by steel cables. These range in size from 2.22-4.25 m in length and weigh 100-300 kg each.

The foundation stone was laid in 1958 and the building was completed in May 1970. Since then, it has become a popular tourist attraction and an iconic symbol of Brasilia.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again