Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world, is known for its rapturous carnivals and lively spirit. The capital of Brazil is no different from the rest of the country, except that it was formed only recently, i.e., it is less than 55 years old. Brasilia was the brainchild of the former president Juscelino Kubitschek who envisioned a new, modern city for Brazil’s government. In 1957, acclaimed Brazilian urban architect, Lucio Costa beat 5,000 entrants in a competition to bag the opportunity to become Brasilia’s principal planner. He roped in his close friend Oscar Niemeyer to design non-public buildings, while landscape designing was assigned to Roberto Burle Marx. The city, developed along the Brazilian Highlands in the country’s Central-West region, is venerated world-over for its beautiful modernist architecture.
Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil for almost 200 years until Brasilia, the newly designed city, took over the title in 1960.
The original master plan of the city, conceptualized by Lucio Costa, interestingly depicts the shape of a bird taking flight.
The city of Brasília is an enormous feat of engineering and planning and it was built entirely from scratch in the late 1950’s in just 2,000 days. UNESCO listed the entire city of Brasilia as a World Heritage Site in 1987.
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