Brasília Travel Guide

This planned and impersonal capital city, sitting like a monument to the space age in a vast plain surrounded by ever-expanding favelas and chaos, may seem very un-Brazilian to those who are new to the country. This is, after all, a nation famous for its laissez-faire attitude. But it also has 'Order and Progress' written proudly on its flag, in homage to the ideas of Comte. And the grandiose schemes of many of its 20th-century leaders have long been influenced by a desire to propel the country into a Positivist vision of the future. Brazil's capital was intended by its conceivers, Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer, and then president Juscelino Kubitschek, as a statement of that future in concrete; an attempt perhaps to make real the cliché repeated by every other Brazilian leader that this is 'the country of the future'. Although many of the remarkable buildings, such as the the dome and saucer of the Congresso Nacional, would in themselves make a trip here worthwhile, Brasília is every bit as Brazilian as Rio Carnaval and Pelé and a visit here is a must for those interested in the psychology of the country.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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