Brasília Travel info
The text below was extracted from the official site about the Cathedral, www.catedral.org.br (Update: the site seems to be taken down; check out the site of the Brasilia Diocese).
Brasilia is without any doubt a singular city, different from all others; even those ones considered moderns and planned.
For such special city, an equally singular Cathedral was designed and built.
On 12th September 1958, the Cathedral's cornerstone was laid. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Brasilia is an expression of the geniality of the architect Oscar Niemeyer. In 1960, the Cathedral's structure was finished, and only the 70 m diameter of the circular area and the 16 concrete columns were visible. These columns, having parabolic section and weighing 90 t, represent two hands moving upwards to heaven. The Cathedral was dedicated on the 31st May, 1970. At that time it had already the external transparent window.
Four bronze sculptures 3 m high, representing the Evangelists, can be seen at the external square in the entrance of the Temple. These sculptures were made with the help of the sculptor Dante Croce, in 1968.
Inside the nave, three sculptures of angels are suspended by steel cables. The smallest angel has 2,22 m of length and weighs 100 kg. The medium one has 3,40 m of length and weighs 200 kg. The big one has 4,25 m of length and 300 kg weighs. The sculptures were made by Alfredo Ceschiatti, with the help of Dante Croce, in 1970.
Having an oval form, the Baptistery has its walls covered by a panel of ceramic tiles painted in 1977 by Athos Bulcão. The local architecture is completed by a bell tower. Its four big bells were donated by Spain.
The nave stained glass is made of 16 pieces of fibreglass. These pieces, in colours of blue, white and brown, were fixed between the concrete columns, in triangles of 10 m of base and 30 m of height. They were painted in 1990 by Marianne Peretti.
The Altar was donated by Pope Paul VI and the image of the Patroness Our Lady of Aparecida is an replica of the original which is at Aparecida do Norte, São Paulo.
Di Cavalcanti made the Way of the Cross, which can be seen in one of the marble walls. Just at the entrance of the Cathedral there is a marble pillar with pictures of some passages of the life of Our Lady, the Mother of God, painted by Athos Bulcão.
Inside the crypt, there is a reproduction of the Shroud of Turin. The Shroud of Turin is the piece of pure linen cloth that was used to cover the body of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion and before He was laid in the Holy Sepulchre. The original one is today at Turim, Italy (that is why it is known as the Shroud of Turin). It is 4,36 m length by 1,10 m width.
On the cloth there are stains of human blood, with the marks of Jesus of Nazareth's scourging and torment. This cloth is the biggest evidence that Jesus existed indeed and what he suffered. After the Shroud of Turin was photographed in 1898, it became easier to study it under the light of science, due to the definition of the front and the back of the figure. Since then there have being many discussions about it without the specific religious point of view, helping to bring about its acceptance by everyone, every race and every religion. It is, doubtless, a relic which has much to enlighten the History of Humanity.
The parish priest of the Cathedral is Monsignor Marcony Vinicius Ferreira, the first priest born and ordained in Brasilia. Due to its location at the Esplanada dos Ministérios, the Cathedral does not have a fixed community. The majority of the faithful that normally come to the Cathedral are either tourists or those that work at the Esplanada dos Ministérios.
With nearly 1.000.000 visitors per year, the Cathedral is the most visited place in Brasilia.
The Cathedral is open everyday for public visitation, except during Mass. Mass times are: from Tuesday to Friday at 12:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.; Saturday at 5:00 p.m.; Sunday at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
During the masses, visitation is not allowed.
The Cathedral is located near the central area of Brasilia (see this map of the Esplanade of Ministries); it is within walking distance from the National Stadium (read more about the World Cup in Brasilia) and from the hotels sectors.
See more information:
»Catedral de Brasília: information in Portuguese.
» Some technical notes about the design of the Cathedral.
» April 2010: Refurbishment of the Cathedral. The cathedral is property of the Church, thus it is not entitled to receive funds from the Governments; a long needed refurbishment started in 2008, at a cost of R$ 25 million, sponsored by private companies.
»December 2012: another refurbishment, this one sponsored by Petrobras.