Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception (Cathedral)
Maputo [Lourenço Marques], Maputo, Mozambique
Located at Paços do Concelho Square (present day República Square), its foundation stone was laid in 1936, it was consacrated in 1944, and built from a plan by engineer Marcial Simões de Freitas e Costa. The design of this church on a basilica plan was led by a desire for formal expression of its construction using elements in reinforced concrete: projecting pillars and beams, concrete cladding panels, cork and cement mortar, exterior walls in concrete blocks with exposed joints. Its structural expressivity, as well as the design and axial arrangement of the steeple drew inspiration from the Church of Notre Dame du Raincy, in Paris (1921-1923), by Auguste Perret, whereas the vaulted ceiling evokes the preliminary project for the Church of Our Lady of Fátima in Lisbon (1934- 1938), by Pardal Monteiro. It is a notable building, of a design somewhere between Art Deco and a certain monumentality, and it includes works from artists Francisco Franco, António Lino, Simões de Almeida, Leopoldo de Almeida and António Maia Ribeiro.