Postcard #19

Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Aparecida, Brasilia, Brazil

The Cathedral of Brasilia, officially the Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Aparecida (Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida), dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of Our Lady of Aparecida, proclaimed by the Church as Queen and Patroness of Brazil, was designed by the architect Oscar Niemeyer.

This concrete-framed hyperboloid structure, appears with its glass roof to be reaching up, open, to heaven. Most of the cathedral is below ground, with only the 70-meter (230 ft) diameter 42-meter (138 ft) roof of the cathedral, the ovoid roof of the baptistry, and the bell tower visible above ground. The shape of the roof is based in a hyperboloid of revolution with asymmetric sections. The hyperboloid structure consists of 16 identical concrete columns assembled on site. These columns, having hyperbolic section and weighing 90 tonnes (99 tons), represent two hands moving upwards to heaven.