Capital of Brazil

the capital of brazil: brasília aerial view

Hi there! Welcome to a new A Dica do Dia! Today will be all about the capital of Brazil: Brasília! Let’s take a look at its history, its city, its location on the map and even how Brasília is designed! Did you know it was constructed by one of – if not, the – greatest architects of Brazil?

What is the Capital of Brazil?

location of brasília in the brazilian map.
Location of Brasília, capital of Brazil, on the Brazilian map.

Brasília, the capital city of Brazil, has a rich history that dates back to the 1950s. On April 21, 1960, Brazil founded Brasília as its new capital, replacing Rio de Janeiro. The idea of building a new capital had been discussed for many years, but it was only during the administration of President Juscelino Kubitschek that the project became a reality.

The Vision of Juscelino Kubitschek

Kubitschek became president in 1955, and one of his campaign promises was to build a new capital in the interior of Brazil. He believed that relocating the capital away from the coast would help to promote the development of the country’s interior regions and reduce the prominence of the coastal areas. The idea was met with skepticism at first, but Kubitschek remained determined to make it a reality.

He believed that the new capital would not only help to promote the development of the interior regions of Brazil but would also serve as a symbol of progress and modernity. Kubitschek saw the construction of Brasília as a way to showcase Brazil’s potential to the rest of the world.

The Design and Construction of the City

Kubitschek’s government organized a competition that resulted in architect Lúcio Costa winning the design of Brasília. The urban plan of the city took inspiration from the shape of an airplane, with the wings housing the main government buildings and the fuselage containing the residential areas.

The construction of Brasília was a massive undertaking that required the relocation of thousands of people. Thousands of people worked tirelessly to bring Kubitschek’s vision to life, building the city in just four years.

The construction of Brasília was not without its challenges. The harsh climate and remote location made it difficult for workers to live and work in the area. However, the city completed on time and within budget, overcoming these challenges.

Inauguration and Early Years

Brasília was inaugurated on April 21, 1960, in a grand ceremony attended by Brazilian and foreign dignitaries. The city quickly became the symbol of Brazil’s progress and modernity, attracting visitors from all over the world. The early years of Brasília were marked by rapid growth and development. The city quickly became the center of political and economic power in Brazil, with many of the country’s most important institutions located in the city.

The Unique Building Architecture of Brasília

While Lúcio Costa was in charge of the urban planning of Brasília, Oscar Niemeyer was responsible for the iconic building design. He designed most iconic buildings, including the National Congress, the Cathedral, and the Palace of the Itamaraty. His designs were heavily influenced by the modernist movement, which emphasized simplicity, functionality, and the use of new materials such as concrete and steel.

One of the most striking features of Niemeyer’s Brasília design is their futuristic appearance. The National Congress, for example, includes two 28-story towers, connected at the center, forming an “H”. The two shells symbolize the power and balance implicit in the bicameral system.

national congress of brasília, designed by oscar niemeyer
National Congress of Brasília, design by Oscar Niemeyer

His plan for the city was based on the idea of creating a functional and efficient space, where everything would be within easy reach of residents and visitors alike. The city is divided into different secots, each with its designated purpose, such as residential, commercial, and governmental.

Did you know you can visit Brasília while learning Portuguese? Our student visa allows you to have more time in Brazil so you can visit other places outside of Rio. You wouldn’t want to miss out on this opportunity, would you? 😉

Culture and Attractions in Brasília

Brasília, the capital city of Brazil, is not only known for its modern architecture but also for its vibrant cultural scene. The city boasts of many theaters, museums, and galleries that showcase the works of both local and international artists.

claudio santoro national theater in Brasília.
Claudio Santoro National Theater in Brasília, Brazil.

Theaters, Museums, and Galleries

The National Theater, also known as the Teatro Nacional Claudio Santoro, is one of the most notable cultural institutions in the city. With a seating capacity of over 1,500, the theater hosts many plays, operas, and concerts throughout the year. The Brasília Museum of Modern Art, on the other hand, houses an extensive collection of Brazilian modern and contemporary art. The museum’s permanent collection includes works by renowned artists such as Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, and Athos Bulcão.

The National Museum of the Republic is another cultural institution worth visiting. The museum’s collection includes over 14,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and photographs. The building itself is an architectural masterpiece, also designed by Oscar Niemeyer.

Parks and Outdoor Spaces

Brasília is also known for its many beautiful parks and outdoor spaces. The Parque da Cidade, also known as the City Park, is one of the largest urban parks in the world, covering an area of over 4,000 acres. The park features many hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and a lake where visitors can rent paddle boats.

The Jardim Botânico, or the Botanical Garden, is another popular outdoor space in Brasília. The garden covers an area of over 2,000 acres and is home to over 6,000 species of plants. Visitors can take guided tours of the garden or explore it on their own.

Festivals and Events

Brasília hosts many festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating the city’s culture and diversity. The Brasília International Film Festival, for instance, is an annual event that showcases the best of Brazilian and international cinema. The festival features many screenings, workshops, and discussions with filmmakers and actors.

The Brasília Music Festival is another popular event that celebrates the city’s music scene. The festival features many concerts and performances by local and international musicians, covering a wide range of genres, from classical to rock to samba. With so much to see and do, Brasília is a city that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

Brasília is a city like no other, offering visitors and residents a unique experience of modernist architecture, urban planning, and cultural richness. What about you? Did you know where it was located on a map of Brazil? Or did you think the capital of Brazil would be closer to Rio de Janeiro on a map? And do you like the design of Brasília? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
History of Rio de Janeiro
Juscelino Kubitschek
Brazilian States
São Paulo

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search for Portuguese Dicas

Tell us which Portuguese lesson you would like to learn


Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Suscribe to A Dica do Dia.

Get free Portuguese lessons. Subscribe to A Dica do Dia and get short, daily lessons in Portuguese completely free.

Based on 321 reviews
I’ve just started online classes with Prof. Ana Carolina & she is the absolute best! It’s my first time learning Portuguese and I was speaking full sentences in the first class. Obrigada!
Katie Andrews
Katie Andrews
Small classes, diverse accents, and engaging professors make Rio & Learn Online a fantastic choice! I've been thrilled with my experience at Rio & Learn Online so far. The small class sizes (around 1-3 others students) allow for personalized attention and plenty of opportunities to practice speaking. What's more, having different professors throughout the program exposes you to various accents, preparing you for real-world interactions. I opted for the full-time program, which involves 2 hours of daily learning from Monday to Friday. After just over 12 weeks, I can confidently say my Portuguese has improved dramatically. The professors are incredibly engaging and encourage students to utilize real-life examples, solidifying the learning process. While I'm only halfway through the program, I'm confident in recommending Rio & Learn Online to anyone seeking to learn Portuguese in a supportive and effective environment. I've gone from being a complete beginner (only knowing hi and bye) to holding conversations - and I'm excited to see how much further I can progress! I'll be back with another review after completing the program, but for now: Rio & Learn Online - highly recommended!
Mona Hinamanu
Mona Hinamanu
I have been taking Portuguese classes with Rio and Learn for a few months. I appreciate their methodology. It is enjoyable and I am challenged and improving every day!
Bryan Beaver
Bryan Beaver
My teachers Lucas, Ana Paula and Paulo were all excellent as well as very friendly and funny. It was a really enjoyable experience and I met loads of interesting new people.
David Smith
David Smith
Rio & Learn e um novo jeito de ensinar a lingua portuguesa. Puro prazer e muito eficiente. Quanto mais alunos na aula mais vida. Eu aconselho voces escolher as aulas grupais por porque sao interativas: rir, falar, argumentar, compartir uma lingua!
Dominique Jacquin
Dominique Jacquin
Après 3 semaines que je suis dans cette école et je peux déjà parler portugais. Certe avec des erreurs mais j'ai fait des progrès fulgurant. En plus, du Lundi au Vendredi l'ecole propose des activitées qu'il appelle "Rio Live" ce qui permet de visiter en même temps Rio tout en parlant Portugais et de rencontrer des gens😃 Toute l'équipe est genial et est prêts à aider si besoin 😁
I've been taking the group online courses with Rio&Learn for 2 months. They offer a fantastic way to learn Portuguese and get speaking practice if you don't live in Brazil. The teachers are engaging and are able to adjust their level of Portuguese to whatever level you are at. Obrigado!
Jake H
Jake H
C'est vraiment fantastique...RioAndLearn. Les cours de portugais...ça vaut vraiment la peine. Les cours ont lieu du lundi au vendredi, (de 9h à 13h) et en après midi, ce sont des activités libres en groupe. (Soccer de plage, volleyball , excursions, visites des lieux touristiques, etc) Vendredi soir, on est allé à Lapa, un quartier nocturne de Rio. C'est quelque chose à voir! Des rues bondées de monde, des orchestres, des discothèques...Allô les décibels! L'apprentissage du portugais se fait en immersion, aussi bien en salle de classe que dans les activités extérieures organisées par Rio&Learn. On est plongé dans la langue portugaise et la culture Brésilienne.... Obligé de parler portugais....🫡 Je le recommande. Pierre Pedro, Montréal, Canada
M54 “M5454” 54
M54 “M5454” 54