History of Brasília 2

The meaning

The word ‘Brasília’ can mean many different things:

  • administratively, Brasilia is only one of the Administrative Regions of the Federal District. ‘Asa Sul’ ( Southern Wing ), ‘Asa Norte’ ( Northern Wing ) and the downtown area of ‘Plano Piloto’ ( Pilot Plan ) are parts of it;
  • to some, Brasilia is everything which was in the original urban plan; nowadays that is divided into three administrative regions: ‘Brasilia’ ( as above ), ‘Lago Sul’ ( South Lake ) and ‘Lago Norte’ ( North Lake );
  • for many of the Federal District’s inhabitants, Brasilia would include all of the above plus one more administrative region, ‘Cruzeiro’ ( which is itself subdivided into four areas – ‘Cruzeiro Velho’, ‘Cruzeiro Novo’, ‘Octogonal’ and ‘Sudoeste’ ). For those people, ‘Cruzeiro’ is not a satellite town. Note: for some people, ‘Octogonal’ and ‘Sudoeste’ are part of Brasilia, but ‘Cruzeiro Velho’ and ‘Cruzeiro Novo’ are not. My personal opinion is that this does not make sense, as the four areas are contiguous;
  • ‘Brasilia’ is also used to mean both the ‘Plano Piloto’ and all satellite cities. In this case, the urban nuclei of all the Administrative Regions of the Federal District would be included.

Planned for only 500,000 inhabitants, Brasilia has seen its population grow much more than expected. Several satellite towns have been created over the years to house the extra inhabitants. Brasilia’s total population ( including the satellite cities ) is now over 2,000,000 inhabitants.


History of Brasília 1

The idea

Shifting the capital from Rio de Janeiro to the heartland was actually quite an old idea. Hipolito Jose da Costa was supportive of it at the turn of the previous century. Jose Bonifácio presented a bill to the Constitutional Assembly of 1823, which was to be dissolved by Dom Pedro I ( Emperor of Brazil ). All Constitutional Assemblies held after the Republic ( 1891, 1934, 1937 and 1946 ) had provisions for the change.

There were several reasons why such a measure should be taken:

  • fear of invasions – Brazil had been systematically invaded in the past ( by the French, the Dutch and even by the Portuguese, after Independence ). Having the capital ( Rio de Janeiro ) by the sea made it very vulnerable;
  • helping develop the heartland;
  • security reasons – A smaller city would be easier to control in the event of riots or the like. Also, popular demand would be of lesser extent.

Brief history

Brasilia was constructed between 1956 and 1960, during the government of President Juscelino Kubitschek. It was inaugurated, as Brazil’s new capital, on April 21, 1960. Its master plan ( ‘Plano Piloto’ ) was conceived by Lucio Costa, and its major buildings were designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Brasilia was designed to have the shape of an airplane, sometimes viewed as a giant bird.

Photos of Brasília

In the end, Brasilia came to be as a result of one man’s will to take this cause with all his heart, after being asked if he would do so by a common citizen in a small town rally.

A tour around my city, Brasília


Basic Information
DDD: 61
Inhabitants: 2,570,160
Fuse Time: – 3 GMT
Local Holidays:
Apr/21 – Anniversary of Brasília
Nov/30 – Believer’s Day

Brasília, the capital of Brazil, was built 53 years ago by Juscelino Kubitschek, the Brazilian President at that time. It has the shape of an airplane, and was planned by Oscar Niemeyer. Because of that, it is divided into Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern parts. It is the most modern city of 20th century, and was registered as Mankind Heritage by UNESCO in 1987.

Brasília is a singular city. It was built in the middle of nothing and inaugurated in less than four years. Only these facts would be enough to make evident that the capital of Brazil has a history, a least, different from all the other tourism spots of Brazil.

As if it was not enough, Brasília also has the most different monuments. No antiquities or constructions from other centuries, but quite the contrary. The sinuous shapes and the dynamic and daring lines of most buildings give a special characteristic to the city. It’s amazing how the concrete was molded, inspiring a futuristic sensation on those who stares the architectonical set.

The shape of the city is also irreverent, with a shape of a plane and with no crossings, allows tourists to go through it easily. However, it’s practically impossible to know it by foot, due to the distance between the tour spots. It’s indicated to rent a car, since buses takes long routes.

Registered as Mankind Heritage by UNESCO, it has two main access ways. Eixo Monumental is where Congresso Nacional, Palácio do Planalto and Supremo Tribunal Federal buildings are located, among others. Eixo Rodoviário takes visitors to the residential sector of the city.

Approximately 90 embassies are placed in Brasília, which also has a people originated from the mix of people from the most varied places. Such mix is also reflected in the city gastronomy, which has influence of typical food of Brazilian savanna and also from the european cuisine in a profusion of flavors.

But it does not have only concrete. Besides Paranoá Lake, one of the biggest artificial lakes ever constructed, the metropolis and its surroundings has green areas, like Parque Nacional and Parque da Cidade. Those who want to visit Chapada dos Veadeiros land at the international airport to, then, take a bus to the neighbor cities of the park, inhabited by mystics from all around the world.

Besides being constructed to be grandiose, with imposing monuments, it is a calm city, where calmness reigns, with streets usually empty, especially in the weekends. But don’t think that there is no nightlife in the city. Even with fame of peaceful, Brasília has bars and nightclubs frequented by tourists and local residents. More than a simple destination for business trips, more and more it gets consolidated as cultural and entertainment nucleus of Brazil. Obviously, it will always be ideal for hosting great events, with Convention and Exhibition Centers and auditoriums.

Places to visit in Brasília:

More info:

A little about me… Um pouco a meu respeito…


My name is Thaís. I am really glad of these weeks we will share, hoping to learn more about other foreign cultures through the English language. This blog is part of ‘GISARTE em movimento’, an educational project on ICTs that I coordinate, and I will share here the results of our partnership with foreign countries in English and Portuguese.

I have a few comments to make about myself. For instance, I am from Brazil, where we only speak Portuguese as our official language. I am an English and a French teacher also graduated in Translation and Law. I work for the local government in Brasília, the capital of my country, where I have been living since I was 5 years old, but I was born in Goiânia.

I have worked with videos in my classes since 2011, but I started attending online classes about educational tools and media in general in 2007. I am developing a project on ICTs, GISARTE, at the high school where I teach English, Centro Educacional Gisno, and at Centro Interescolar de Línguas 1 de Brasília, where I teach French. In 2012 I worked together with the British Council (  Connecting Classrooms Program  ) and the Adobe Foundation ( Adobe Youth Voices ) on video projects and critical literacy.

I attended the PSTDP (  Public School Teacher Development Program  ) at Casa Thomas Jefferson in 2003-2004, and I have taken part in some educational programs from abroad, sponsored by Brazilian Ministry of Education, American Embassy, British Council and Adobe Foundation since 2012. I hope this blog be a vehicle to share a little about all these educational exchange programs with you, and engage you in them. You are also welcome to visit our Facebook and LinkedIn pages and talk to me anytime.

Web page:

 I will start sharing some information about my country, Brazil, with you. My students will publish here the information they have produced about it, too. We have been working on some international projects on Education since 2012, and we want that our partners and local community can follow them online.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope to hear from you here, too…

Welcome! – Bem-vindo(a)!

Brazilian flag

É com muito prazer que eu convido você a participar do blog do Clube de Inglês (site: http://thaislobojunqueira.googlepages.com/clubedeingles) !

Este projeto tem por objetivo iniciar os estudantes de inglês no fascinante universo dessa língua. Este blog é mais uma ferramenta que usaremos para fazer contato. Nosso propósito é que aqui vocês compartilhem suas experiências virtuais com a língua inglesa.

Eu espero que vocês possam encontrar nos posts e nos links um incentivo para desenvolver mais esta habilidade profissional: a de comunicar-se em inglês!

Enjoy this famous Brazilian song:

Chega de saudade – Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes (with translation)