Brasilia's Birthday! A Few Facts About Brazil's Capital

(Brasilia's Grid Plan)

April 21, 1960
On this date, Brasilia was founded to serve as Brazil's new capital.  Brasilia was more centralized than the old capital of Rio de Janeiro and had actually been promised during the nation's founding.  Eventually government leaders and public pressure brought the city from dream to reality.  In creating a city from scratch, designers were able to take more liberties and draw attention to the new capital.  The picture above is the original layout of the city - It was designed to look like an airplane. (Some claim the shape is that of a bird.  One of Brazil's original names was "Land of Parrots")  Although government leaders thought the city would have a modest population, today it boasts of being Brazil's fourth most populous city.

Amazing Cathedral
Photo by Magnus Apolinario de Andrade 
Oscar Niemeyer, a noted atheist and socialist, designed one of the world's most iconic cathedrals: Brasilia's Metropolitan Cathedral (Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of Aparecida) The cathedral serves as the seat of Brazil's Archdiocese and is designed so that it "opens up" to the heavens. The concrete spires represent two hands pushing up to the heavens.  

Slightly Odd
LĂșcio_Costa (the main urban planner behind Brasilia's design) and Oscar Niemeyer (the primary architect behind many of Brasilia's most iconic structures) both died in Rio de Janeiro -  Brazil's former capital.

For an aerial view of Brasilia, check out WorldFromAbove's video

And here's a New York Times travel piece on the capital city.

Thanks for Reading!

Metropolitan Cathedral Photo: By Magnus Apolinario de Andrade (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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