Brazil’s futuristic capital is the closest attempt on earth to a create a modern utopia. It’s the result of a long-harnessed Brazilian dream of an inland capital, carved out of nowhere in the 1950s in a spectacular feat of urban planning, architectural design and political prophecy.
The purpose-built city and its surrounding area, known as the Distrito Federal (DF), occupies part of the Brazilian central plateau – the Planalto – totaling 5802 sq km, with rolling hills and a large artificial lake, Paranoá. Wide-open, spectacular cerulean skies characterize the whole area, a picturesque backdrop to Brasília’s clean-lined design and marvelous architecture.
For a nation often tapped as the country of the future, Brasília is its revolutionary testament to that end, a living museum lauded the world over for everything from its avant-garde grid of perfectly planned streets to its über-organized residential apartment and commercial blocks. As Brazil’s seat of government, it’s a city of bureaucrats and government workers, all of whom relish the national capital as a ‘60s version of a third-millennium city. It remains the only city in the world constructed in the 20th century to achieve World Cultural Heritage designation by Unesco.
Nearly 50 years after its inauguration, Brasília is affluent, well-manicured and lively. If you’re interested in modern architecture, you’ll easily spend a few days visiting the city’s impressive buildings and monuments, each day fueled by some of Brazil’s top restaurants and vibrant vida nocturna. Otherwise, come here as a stopover en route to the Pantanal, Chapada dos Veadeiros in Goiás or Ilha do Bananal in Tocantins.
Last updated: Mar 2, 2009
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