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Brasilia History, Brazil

The city of Brasilia, the majestic capital of Brazil, is a fine example of tasteful modern architecture. The city lies on the Planato Central, a plateau in the Central-Western region of the country. Although Brasilia is a very young city, it was declared a World Heritage Site. The city’s main advantages are its masterful urban planning and its beautiful architecture, which draw quite a large number of tourists every year. Not only architecture aficionados are coming to spend their holidays in Brasilia, regular tourists are also in for a good time. Brasilia is among the top most visited cities in Brasilia, although it is placed after popular destinations such as Sao Paulo, Rio, or the nearby Goiania. This Brasilia History Guide briefly describes the major events in the history of this intriguing city.

Brasilia History Guide - Foundation

Although Brasilia is referred to as a city, this expression is somewhat incorrect. Although most cities in Brazil are municipalities, Brasilia does not have this status. In fact, Brasilia is one of a kind. It did not exist until 1960, but it has been planned for nearly two centuries. In 1823, José Bonifácio de Andrade e Silva, one of Brazil’s national heroes, proposed to move the capital from Rio de Janeiro to a more sheltered region, less exposed to attacks. For a century, the city remained just a clever but improbable plan. In 1922, however, the first stone of Brasilia was laid in the Planato Central.

Brasilia History Guide - Construction

The president of Brazil, Juscelino Kubitschek, initiated an urbanization plan for Brasilia, called the Company of Urbanization of the New Capital, or NOVOCAP. The person in charge of the project was Oscar Niemeyer, a young and promising architect. Urbanist Lúcio Costawon the public contest with his groundbreaking design, the Plano Piloto. The president, whose motto was “fifty years in five”, did all he could to make the city one of the hallmarks of Brazil’s economic soar. He preferred to have highways built instead of railways, and invited some major American car producers to open branches in the new city. Kubitschek insisted that the city should be inaugurated during his term, so Brasilia was officially declared the capital of Brazil in 1960, before it was even completed. This Brasilia History Guide recommends that you visit the Juscelino Kubitschek Memorial, dedicated to the life and work of the city's founder.

Brasilia History Guide - The City Today

Since its inauguration, Brasilia has known a surge of growth that was not foreseen by its planners. The city was designed as the headquarters for governmental institutions, but people from the surrounding satellite cities migrated to Brasilia in hope of finding better career opportunities. Workers from the surrounding areas, who helped build the cities, stayed on even after the construction was finished. These candangos, as they were called, had a major contribution to the expansion of the city. In 1987, UNESCO declared Brasilia a World Heritage Site. Although nowadays Brasilia is still being criticized for being too artificial, organized and devoid of the human element, the city is definitely worth visiting.

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