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Where in the World: Brasilia, Brazil

Raymond Stellhorn
Columnist
rjs2091@lhup.edu
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The capital of Brazil today is the city of Brasilia and has been since 1960, prior to then it was Rio de Janeiro. It was nothing more than a rural village before being designated as the new location of the capital city, but, after five years of construction and development, the city was complete. It became the new home to Brazil’s government, fulfilling a plan that was written out in the constitution many years before.

Unique to Brasilia is the city plan and architecture. Since it was built basically from nothing, the designers could do almost anything the imagined. From above, the city looks like an airplane, which is organized by two wings divided by a central mall known as the “monumental axis” similar to the one in Washington D.C. and then separated into different districts which include: Federal District and City Government Buildings, Brazil’s Government Branch Buildings, Museums, Hotels, Shopping, Sports and Residential. Keep in mind since the city was designed in the 1950’s and meant to look futuristic; it has a very similar look to how television shows at that time such as Star Trek portrayed the future. The majority of the structures were designed by chief architect and Brazilian born, Oscar Niemeyer, which is another reason many of the buildings look similar and uniformly futuristic.

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The most famous attractions in Brasilia are located in the Monumental Axis which include: Three Powers Square (Location of Congress, Supreme Court, and Presidential Palace), Television Tower (Panoramic view of the city from the top), National Theatre Claudio Santoro, Public Works of Art, Alvarado Palace, Cultural Complex of the Republic and the Cathedral of Brasilia. Elsewhere in Brasilia one can visit the Paranoá Lake, a beautiful large artificial lake for watersports and the location of the astonishing Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge, another piece of iconic architecture and design associated with Brasilia. Also, the Mané Garrincha National Stadium recently built for the Soccer World Cup hosted in Brazil is the largest facility in Brasilia and hosts soccer matches as well as concerts.

This futuristic city has much to offer with unique architecture and design, a cultural center of Brazil, and numerous tourist destinations.  This is a city one cannot miss when discovering Brazil.

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