angolalusophony

Portuguese builders to upgrade Angolan sanctuary

The Angolan government expects to spend more than 260 million euros with the requalification, in the next two years, of the village and the shrine of Muxima, which involve the construction companies of Portuguese origin Somague and Casais.

The information comes from four dispatches signed by Angolan President João Lourenço on December 19 and which he had access to today, authorizing the contracting of contractors for the works in the largest Marian center in sub-Saharan Africa, namely the construction of a basilica for 4,600 faithful.

One of the dispatches, which follows the restricted competition for preliminary qualification launched in July, specifically involves the construction of the Basilica of Our Lady of Muxima, 130 kilometers from Luanda, and contiguous areas. The document authorizes the director of the Special Works Office to sign the contract with Sacyr Somague Angola and Griner Engenharia, for 40,168 million kwanzas (115 million euros).

A second order authorizes the construction of the infrastructure of the village of Muxima, for 50,624 million kwanzas (145 million euros), by the Angola and Omatapalo group of companies.

Two other orders authorize works to inspect Progest for 127 million kwanzas (365 thousand euros) and Dar Angola Consultoria for 699 million kwanzas (two million euros).

The current project of the Special Works Group for Muxima, defined in 2014 by former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, excludes important works of requalification, which is why it will be necessary to include the restoration of existing buildings, such as the temple of the Catholic Church and the Muxima Fort, monuments built during the Portuguese occupation.

This project was launched in 2008 by then President José Eduardo dos Santos who, about a year later, during the pastoral visit of Benedict XVI to Angola, showed the model to the pope and offered the future basilica to the Holy See.

The village was occupied by the Portuguese in 1589, which, ten years later, built the fortress and the church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, also known as “Mama Muxima”, which in the national language Quimbundu means “heart.”

The project aims to intervene in an area of 40 hectares and only the basilica will be built in a space of 18,000 square meters, with a capacity to accommodate 4,600 people seated, as well as its urban arrangement. It provides, outside the basilica, the construction of a public square to receive up to 200,000 pilgrims.

It also involves road infrastructure around the perimeter of the sanctuary and parking areas for 3,000 vehicles.

The village of Muxima has become the largest Marian center in sub-Saharan Africa, but the current temple has only a seating capacity of 600, insufficient, for example, for the annual September pilgrimage that leads to that village, by the Kwanza river, over one million faithful.

The Angolan government decided in October 2014 to restructure the project of the new sanctuary, designed by the Portuguese architect Júlio Quaresma, foreseeing the implantation of the new sanctuary in an area of 18,352 square meters, with the new cathedral capable of accommodating 4,600 seated devotees. to contemplate the construction of the village Nossa Senhora da Muxima.

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