Top 10 Places to Visit in Brasília

When Rio de Janeiro was surpassed as Brazil’s capital in 1960, construction on Braslia began. It was strategically placed in the middle of Brazil to facilitate western expansion.

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Top 10 Places to Visit in Brasília

The incredibly ambitious scheme, conceived primarily by Lcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer, made waves with its cutting-edge design and urban planning principles.

Because of its unified design and construction, Braslia lacks the organic blend of commercial, residential, and government uses typical of a city’s organic growth.

The city’s major tourist attractions, including its most famous buildings, are clustered in one area, making them easy to find, but they are located in a very different part of town than the residential and business areas where you may truly experience local culture.

The major thoroughfare crosses the area from north to south along the curved Eixo Rodoviário and from east to west along the straight Eixo Monumental.

The main government offices are clustered along Esplanada dos Ministérios. You’ll either have to put in some serious footwork or pay for a tour to see everything.

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1. Praça dos Tràs Poderes

The government district of Brasilia is a spectacular showcase of modern architecture, bringing together some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The Praça dos Tràs Poderes (Square of the Three Powers) is bordered by the Presidential Palace (Palácio do Planalto), the Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal), and the National Congress (Congresso Nacional).

There is also the Panteo da Liberdade (Pantheon of Freedom), a monument commemorating President Tancredo Neves and the rebels of the Inconfidància Mineira of 1789 that was conceived by Oscar Niemeyer but never built due to his untimely death in 1985.

The southern side is home to the Palácio dos Arcos. The Brazilian flag is 73 feet in width and flies from a 91-foot-tall flagpole known as the Capo da Bandeira.

2. Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida

The city’s most recognisable structure is the 1970 completion of Niemeyer’s circular cathedral. Its crowning feature is a set of sixteen curved concrete columns that rise high to encircle a glass roof. The interior is bathed in a breathtaking natural light.

What you see from the outside is actually just the roof of the edifice; the majority of the cathedral is actually located below ground and can only be accessed through a dark tunnel. Plexiglass covers the stained glass in the roof’s upper tier.

Outside, you’ll see a freestanding bell tower that’s 20 metres in height and four massive statues depicting the Four Evangelists.

3. Palácio dos Arcos

One of Oscar Niemeyer’s finest works is the Palácio dos Arcos, better known as the Palácio Itamaraty, which currently serves as the Foreign Ministry. Beautiful gardens constructed by the renowned Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx surround a series of symmetrical arches that stand over a reflecting lake.

The interior is richly designed and centres on a garden set within a semi-roofed patio. The building is accessible to the general public, and its spiralling freestanding staircase is a particular architectural marvel. Esplanada dos Ministérios, Planalto Central, Brasilia.

4. Monumento JK: President Kubitschek Memorial

Memorial of Brazil’s legendary President Juscelino Kubitschek, widely regarded as the city’s namesake, stands dramatically on Praça do Cruzeiro. Several of his admirers rank Oscar Niemeyer’s monument as one of his best creations.

In addition to housing Kubitschek’s tomb and a museum dedicated to him, the monument also features informative displays on Brasilia, the city he designed and oversaw from concept to completion.

They include original blueprints, photographs of the building process, and other artefacts. Together with its historical significance, the monument is a popular destination because of the contemporary sculptures that surround it. Brasilia, Planalto Central, Praça do Cruzeiro.

5. Lago do Paranoá, Ponte Juscelino Kubitschek and Ponteo Lago Sud

Lago do Paranoá is a big lake formed by damming the Rio Paranoá on the city’s eastern outskirts. Embassies and consulates, sports clubs and restaurants, a university, an Olympic centre, and the official residence of the President of the Republic, Palácio da Alvorada, line its shores.

The Ponte Juscelino Kubitschek, or Ponte JK, is a concrete and steel arch bridge that spans the lake at a height of more than 60 metres thanks to its three intersecting arches. Since its completion in 2002, the bridge, which was designed by architect Alexandre Chan and structural engineer Mário Vila Verde, has won a number of architectural honours.

Its soaring curves are especially eye-catching when illuminated by floodlights at night. The Pontao do Lago Sul, a promenade along the lake’s south shore lined with restaurants and ice cream stalls, is a popular destination on weekends.

6. Santuario Dom Bosco (Sanctuary of Dom Bosco)

Brasilia is widely seen as being inspired by the 19th-century Italian priest, San Joao Bosco, who was canonised in 1934 and whose chapel is located in the neighbourhood of So Joao Bosco.

This place of worship is located precisely on the 15th parallel. A square edifice with 40 tall pointed arches, planned by Claudio Naves and built by Hubert van Doorne, is the work of architect Vasconcelos Naves.

Most of the walls are made up of glass, and the massive chandelier is handcrafted from over 7,000 pieces of Murano glass. Gotfredo Tralli crafted the huge cedar Crucifix above the altar from a single tree.

7. Congresso Nacional (National Congress)

The two buildings that house the Brazilian Senate and the House of Deputies are also notable examples of modern architecture. Oscar Niemeyer went with two quite different designs for this purpose.

He gave each home a dish form reminiscent of a flying saucer and separated them with two angular, rectangular towers.

There is a wide grass and reflecting pool outside these buildings perfect for taking pictures, and inside you may explore the exhibits, which include a Tunnel of Time. An English-speaking guide will take you on a tour of the facility. Planalto Central, via Eixo Monumental, Brasilia.

8. Parque Nacional de Brasília

Located in the city’s northwestern quadrant, Braslia National Park protects a wide variety of ecosystems, including the cerrado’s low, twisted trees, the bush steppe of the Brazilian interior, vast stretches of scrub and grassland, palm-scattered wetlands, and the towering trees of gallery forests along riverbanks and lakeshores.

The park’s mineral springs are a major draw, and the streams here are used to provide drinking water for all of Braslia thanks to a dam that created Lake Santa Maria.

The park protects a rich and diverse wildlife, including countless kinds of birds, rheas, wild pigs, enormous armadillos, capybaras, pampas deer, uncommon maned wolves, jaguars, caimans, anacondas, and other snakes, all of which are typical of the wild areas of midwestern Brazil.

The shorter Capivara track takes around 20 minutes to traverse the forest, while the longer Cristal trail takes nearly an hour. You can also relax in one of the two mineral pools, just like the locals do.

9. Monumental Axis and Torre de TV (Television Tower)

If you want to get a feel for the layout of the city and see it all at once, head to the top of the 224-meter-tall Brasilia TV Tower. From its location at the end of the Burle Marx Garden, you can see the President Kubitschek Monument and the government office towers that make up the Monumental Axis (Eixo Monumental).

The 74-meter observation deck is free and open to the public every day except Sunday, when it is replaced by a craft market. Sarah Kubitschek City Park, located south of the Axis, is a popular public park because to its large size, ponds, theme rides, cafés, sports fields, performance space, and weekend flea markets. Eixo Monumental, Brasilia, Planalto Central is the address.

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10. Memorial dos Povos Indígenas (Museum of Indigenous People)

This remarkable assemblage of indigenous Brazilian art and artefacts not only documents the country’s pre-colonial native culture but also honours the continued practises of Brazil’s indigenous communities in the present day.

The museum houses one of the best collections in all of South America, including both historical and contemporary artefacts like as ceramics, baskets, weaponry, paddles, and feather headdresses.

The distinctive Yanomamö circle building was designed by Oscar Niemeyer, who collaborated with Yanomamö shamans and elders to ensure the building was genuine to the culture. Handmade local arts and crafts can be found in abundance at the museum store. Esplanada dos Ministérios, Braslia, Planalto Central is the location.


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