Places of Worship

Catedral de Maputo

Mozambique / Africa

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is the Roman Catholic cathedral in downtown Maputo.  It is located on Praça da Independência (Independence Square) and is dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The foundation stone was laid on 28 June 1936 inside the narthex and inscribed by the Bishop of Mozambique and Cape Verde, D. Rafael Maria da Asunção. Construction was completed in 1944.

The cathedral was designed by the Portuguese civil engineer Marcial Simões de Freitas e Costa, (then a railway director).  He designed it pro bono for the Archdiocese of Lourenço Marques.  Freitas was inspired by the simple style and building materials of church construction in Europe of the time.  In the end, it was built of concrete and cement.  He was inspired by buildings such as the Notre-Dame du Raincy in Le Raincy (1921-1923) by Auguste Perret and Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Fátima (1934-1938) in Lisbon, built by Pardal Monteiro. The simplicity and the choice of new materials were due to the financial problems of the period.

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