The Roman Catholic cathedral was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and projected by Brazilian structural engineer Joaquim Cardozo, and was completed and dedicated on May 31, 1970.
The cathedral is a structure constructed from 16 concrete columns, weighing 90 tons each. A 20-meter tall bell tower containing four large bells donated by Spanish residents of Brazil. At the entrance of the cathedral is a pillar with passages from the life of Mary, mother of Jesus, painted by Athos.
A 12-meter wide, 40-centimeter deep reflecting pool surrounds the cathedral roof, helping to cool the cathedral. Visitors pass under this pool when entering the cathedral.