I first visited Brasília in June 1966 arriving from Belo Horizonte by bus. It was a city still “under construction”. It was cold. It was dusty – red. The Cathedral was just a concrete frame. The Congress and Senate buildings you see above where there as were most of the Ministry buildings. The US Embassy sat out in the middle of a pasture. It looked more like a temporary Army camp than the US Embassy. Now it looks like NASA’s headquarters with all those antennas sticking out from the top of a very large building. Actually, it may have been the US Consulate. I don’t remember when the US Embassy was moved from Rio (present day US Consulate) to Brasília.
When I returned to Brazil in 1986, I lived in Brasília for three months before moving to Goiânia. I liked it, but many Brasilians don’t. They are proud of its fame as the country’s capital, but most have no desire to live there unless they get one of the high paying government jobs. Why? It is the least Brazilian city in Brazil. It has wide avenues, controlled traffic, spacial environment, minimal poverty and a low-crime rate. The quality of life is one of the best in Brazil. Now having said all that, Brasília is surrounded by the “real” Brazil (satellite cities), which are all those things that Brasília is not.
Brazilians say it lacks “soul”.
If you come to Brazil, it is worth a visit. It was 48 years ago that the city was inaugurated in the middle the cerrado (savanna). Built from scratch, it opened up the vast interior of the country.
- Brazil Travel Information – Patricia Ribeiro at About.com
- Flickr Photos – Brasília Dircinha
- History of Brasília – Wikipedia