Brasilia is definitely a city full of politics, people and passion. Everywhere you look there is wonderful architecture surrounded by interesting vegetation and it is all full of life like the Brazilian people. This post will be a mixture of my most recent visit and my first visit to the capital city of Brasilia. I visited some of the main tourist areas in 2010 so they did not get revisited today but I feel they must still be include in my blog.
As I mentioned in part 1 - Brasilia is a planned city located in the middle of the country on the central highlands of Brazil. It has a subtropical climate so there is a long dry season followed by months of heavy rain. I only state this as my visit now is during the dry season and in 2010 it was during the rainy season so I believe you will notice the vast difference in the photos included. In "Brasilia Part 1" I compared the central part of the city to Washington DC with a large
When we visited in 2010 these renovations were underway as construction trailers surrounded the base of the building and we had to park the car on a make shift grass lot a short distance away. The beautiful white house of worship lacks curb appeal as the front lawn consists of six foot wide slabs of cement with one foot strips of grass separating each slab. I would expect something different in a city so rich with green space. We exited the car and as we approached the cathedral we were greeted by four statues. On one side stood three statues representing the synoptics, Matthew, Mark, and Luke while the stature of John stands alone facing them on the other side. They were like soldiers with spiritual weapons guarding the front of the religious palace. After passing them, we continue down into the dimly lit tunnel entrance almost like going into a culvert or man made cave.
We traveled down the "Eixo Monumental" to the northwest end which is called the Praca dos Tres Poderes (Three Powers Square). This large concrete square is where the three highest authorities in the country can be found - - Presidential Palace, Supreme Court and right across the street is the National Congress. Let's start our journey with these three buildings. Each of the buildings were designed by Oscar Niemyer and symbolize the future of Brazil. The "Palacio do Planalto" (Presidential Palace) is where the President of Brazil and many other major
|Palacio do Planalto|
|Presidential Guard Battlaion|
Guarding the Palacio do Planalto
|The Supreme Court Building|
Back to the square and our next building the Supreme Court which houses the highest court of the country. This building was designed by Mr. Niemeyer as well and has the same glass surrounded by white curved concrete columns and lies adjacent to the Palace. There is not a whole lot more to say about this building as it blends with the rest and probably has less significance then the other things on the square. I did find the large parking area in front a little distracting to the details of the architecture.
The final building considered part of the square is the National Congress and it actually lies across the avenue in the Eixo Monumental. Another wonderful design by Oscar Niemeyer, it consists of a semi-sphere opening to the earth and a semi-sphere opening to the sky with two vertical office buildings towering in unison dividing them. These buildings as well as several others around the edge of the eixo monumental house the Congressional offices of Brazil. All the office are connected to the two main towers by tunnels under the city. Brazil's Congress consists of the Senate
|View of Palacio do Planalto|
from the square
To talk a little about The Praca does Tres Poderes is to talk about Brazil's commitment to democracy and freedom after years of military rule. Besides these three powerhouse buildings, the square is full of unique sculptures celebrating Brazilian artists. Many of which were inspired by this theme with literal and abstract reference to doves, traditionally a symbol of peace and democracy. Before I continue discussing what other finds are located on the square, I want to share my first impressions of it. Like a lot of Brasilia's main attractions, the use of concrete seems overbearing to me. I know it is a medium that Oscar Niemeyer uses quite often but a nice green lawn in front of the cathedral would be more inviting then the vast slabs of concrete. The "Praca does Tres Poderes" has no grass and the concrete radiates heat in the south of the equator sun. It is just not very welcoming to me without some vegetation.
|City Museum in the middle - designed in the shape of a dove|
on the right you see the "Dovecote"
Go back and read Brasilia Part 1 by clicking here.
|Historic Museum of Brasilia|