Barquisimeto Cathedral – The modern metropolitan Roman Catholic cathedral in Barquisimeto

One of the most modern cathedrals in Latin America, considered original in style. Designed by Jan Berkman, it was his first major project. A Franciscan chapel was built in this location in 1636, when a permit was conferred by Governor Francisco Núñez Melián.

The 1812 earthquake reduced the building to rubble. In 1865, construction of a new building was completed. Venezuela’s 1950 earthquake, lead to significant destruction within the chapel.

Barquisimeto Metropolitan Cathedral interior / Image source

As a result, the building was demolished, leaving only the bell tower (1865) and clock (1888). The construction of the present church building began in 1953 and was completed in 1968.

Its exterior shape is an upside down flower, with a bell tower external to the building. This unconventionally-shaped cathedral is a hyperbolic paraboloid (quadric surface that has exactly one axis of symmetry and no center of symmetry) with two wings connected by a central tower. The cathedral ceiling consists of acrylic panels supported by a network of steel wires.

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