Brasília City Guide

An Introduction to the Capital city of Brazil - Brasília

Location

Brasilia is Brazil’s federal capital and is situated within the Federal District, on the central Brazilian Plateau. Surrounded by savannahs, forests and scrubland, with an approximate elevation of 1100 meters above sea level, this city has a tropical savannah climate. This city represents the seat of government of the Federal District and it is well known by modern architecture and unique design. Brasilia is also referred as the only capital in the world city that was founded during the 20th century.

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History

Concerned by the fact that the first two Brazilian capitals, built on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, were constantly exposed to seaborne raids, the Brazilian government had begun the two centuries long preparations to move the capital to a safer location, closer to the central part of Brazil. In the year of 1789, Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, a leader of the independence movement in Brazil, had proposed the idea of capital city’s relocation. The same idea reappeared in the year of 1822 by a Brazilian statesman, naturalist, professor and poet, José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, which was later included in the first Constitution of the Brazilian Republic of 1891. The present site of the Capital Brasilia was selected after a long period of logistical, economical and geological planning, in the year of 1956. Under the leadership of Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, an airstrip was established, heavy machinery had been transported to the site and the construction began. Even several Boeings were rented to fly cement, sand and other supplies into the sites. City streets, an artificial lake and the foundations of the principal buildings were built first, along with creation of interregional highways, which connected the rising capital with cities of the north, south and east, which resulted in migration of many Brazilians from all over the country to Brasília.

During the second quarter of the year of 1960, the federal government of Brazil began its move to Brasilia, but with much slower progress than anticipated. The most of the difficulties were made by the great cost of its construction, the radical nature of its architecture and damage done to the environment during expansion of region’s transportation infrastructure. The major concerns by the end of 20th century were disorders of basic services and social problems, along with the significant population expansion and increased pollution of the Paranoá Lake, which was brought back to its intentional purpose as a popular recreational area after inauguration of a water treatment program.

Brasilia -Eixo Monumental

General facts

Brasilia is spread all over an area of total 5789.16 km². With two particular weather seasons, the rainy season, which occurs from October to April, and a dry season, which occurs from May to September, the city’s average temperature is 20.6°C. The innercity residential areas are arranged into collections of apartment buildings called superblocks or superquadras, with a proportional number and type of schools, retail stores, and open areas. There are also two peninsulas, located at the both northern and southern end of Lake Paranoá, with various fashionable homes. Original city plans includes extensive public areas along the shores of the Lake Paranoá, but hotels, restaurants, private clubs and upscale residences were built there instead.

There are also smaller metropolitan areas, around Brasilia, also known as satellite cities, from which the planned satellite cities are Gama and Sobradinho, while Ceilândia, Taguatinga, Núcleo Bandeirante, and Planaltina were built unplanned. Brasilia is famous for its shape of an airplane, and its majestic fuselage of the airplane includes government buildings, the chamber of deputies, the ministries, a cathedral, the senate and tall television tower. There are also two airplane wings, each is approximately 7 km long, also known as North Wing and South Wing, and the avenues between the Lake Paranoá, also known as L2 Sul and L2 Norte, includes schools, churches and hospitals. The connection between wings is made by Eixo, a long avenue, above which is the location of a central bus station. There is also located a hotel sector, also known as Sector Hoteleiro, as well as the banking sector, also known as Sector Bancário.
1. Brasília took just 41 months to build, from 1956 to 1960 2. Oscar Niemeyer the famous architect is credited with the overall design of Brasilia.

 

3. The city is built in the shape of a bird 4. The city has a population of 2.5 Million and is the 4th most populated city in Brazil.

 

Landmarks

A major prominent landmark in the city is the President Bridge or JK Bridge, also known as Ponte Juscelino Kubitschek. This architectural masterpiece is made of concrete and steel, 1200 meters long, supported by three arches and the 60 meters high tower. Built across the Lake Paranoá, at the dusk and during night this bridge gains his full illuminating effect from the spotlights. Another remarkable landmark, designed by the famous Oscar Niemeyer, is the Palace of Dawn or Palacio da Alvorada. Standing by the Lake Paranoá, this three floored palace serves as the official residence of the President of Brazil with a library, apartments, music rooms and private rooms included, while the heated swimming pool is of Olympic size. The majestic Presidential Palace or Palacio do Planalto is one of the most famous of Brasilia’s landmarks, also designed by Oscar Niemeyer, which is located on the Praca dos Tres Podéres plaza. With its four floors and a complex of four buildings this Palace serves as the official workspace of Brazil's president. Another astonishing landmark in Brasilia is The Parliament or Congresso Nacional, which comprises both the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil and the Senate. Upper House and Lower House separates two twin towers, but they are still connected in the middle by a tunnel. Department of Justice or Palacio da Justica is located on the Avenida da República Avenue, right between Esplanada dos Ministérios and Congresso Nacional. Decorated by the multiple waterfalls cascading from the archways, this building represents one of many of Brasilia’s landmarks. The remarkable Roman Catholic Cathedral named Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida represents the most famous landmark in the capital Brasilia. Along with its unique architecture and four large statues of the Four Disciples, makes this Cathedral the iconic symbol of the city. The beautiful Santuario Dom Bosco church is also one of the landmarks in Brasilia with 7500 pieces of unique Murano glass, supported by concrete towering columns. Located in the centre of the Monumental Axis or Eixo Monumental, 225 meters high the TV Tower in Brasilia represents a very characteristic city landmark with an observation deck, which at the height of 75 meters gives the most stunning cityscape views.

General specifications

Urban population in Brasilia is estimated to nearly three million inhabitants, with density of approximately 450 inhabitants per km2. Brasilia’s population’s literacy level is above national average, with six international schools, two universities, three university centers and many private colleges. Main industries which run in Brasilia are construction, food processing, furniture making, recycling, pharmaceuticals and graphic industries.

Prices

Brasilia’s prices are evaluated as very high, while prices on groceries vary from moderate low to average, depending on the location.

Places to go

In addition to mentioned landmarks above, Brasilia is also a city of many tourist attractions, such as national park Chapada dos Veadeiros, which is famous because of its charming waterfalls, the innovative Three Powers Square, The Torto River Basin and the Bananal River Basin, a fabulous Blue Pool or Poço Azul, which has been formed out of a quartz rock, Pirenópolis with its outstanding colonial architecture, a beautiful City Park, with picnic spots, located in the heart of the city and Brasilia’s national park.