a view of Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge in Brasilia, Brazil

Brasilia: The Brazilian Capital

Brasília is the capital of Brazil and is situated along the Brazilian Highlands in the Central-West region of the country. Rio de Janeiro was the country's capital until the new city of Brasília was constructed in just 41 months from 1956 to 1960. On April 21, 1960, Brasília was officially inaugurated as the new Brazilian capital. When the city was constructed, Brazilians from throughout the country came to Brasília in search of private and public jobs. Since that time, Brasília has become the fourth most populated city in Brazil, behind São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador, respectively. It has the unique status of being the most populated city at the end of the 20th century that did not exist at the beginning of that century. Unlike the other cities in Brazil, Brasília has an administrative division as opposed to a legal municipality. The city represents the centers of all three branches of the Brazilian government including the President, Supreme Court, and Congress.

Popular Attractions in Brasília

Brasília is noted for its modernist architecture, much of which was designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, and the city is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the major structures in the city include the massive Congressional Palace, the Planalto Palace that houses the presidential offices, Itamaraty Palace that contains the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Buriti Palace, the National Theater, and multiple foreign embassy buildings. There are several other notable sites in Brasília, such as the Television Tower, the best place to get a panoramic view of the city, and the Brasília Cathedral, which is considered one of the world's most incredible modernist structures. There are also many public works of art that can be seen throughout the streets in the city for free. Several companies offer Brasília sightseeing tours to visit many of these interesting sites.

Culture of Brasília

Brasília is a cosmopolitan city, with many political events, movie festivals, and musical performances taking place throughout the year. It is also a major business tourism destination, which is a significant part of the local economy. As a result, there are dozens of hotels spread throughout the city as well as a huge range of restaurants to enjoy. Brasília hosts several large local, national, and international events throughout the year, including several festivals in June that celebrate Catholic saints such as Saint Peter, Saint Anthony of Padua, and Saint John the Baptist. Other big events include the traditional Independence Day parade on the Ministries Esplanade and New Year's Eve celebrations.