Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One Year Ago Project

Our time in Luis Eduardo Meghalles ended and we made the 6 hour drive to Brasilia, passing back through the cerrado (an African like savanna).  This area of the planalto lies between the Amazon watershed to the north and the Parana watershed to the south.  

Going through some road construction, where they basically push the red topsoil off and lay down the pavement.  

And then we were back in Brasilia, the famous capital city, ready to take a city tour.  

Driving down the central avenue, you pass these government buildings, 14 on each side of the road.  Each one houses a different ministry such as education, healthcare and agriculture.  Before you get in to the government center, there are a few other interesting buildings to see. 

The National Library - which has never been opened to the public our tour guide said.  Apparently there aren't many books inside it either.

The interior of the National Gallery - a beautiful building that has just a few works of art.  Another example of much money spent on a building with little left to spend on the art itself.

There was this  modernistic soft sculpture of cotton "beans"

and one called the Black Madonna, done by a Brazilian artist.

The outside of the Metropolitan Cathdral where giant statues of some saints line the walkway.  You go downstairs to enter and the seating area is below ground level.

The inside ceiling is spectacular!

We continued up the central boulevard to the political center of the capital city.

The twin towers of the Congress Building where the national assembly meets.  The Senate chamber is on the left side and the House of Representatives is on the right. 

Many of the official buildings in this area have interesting exteriors, fountains or decorative lements.  

In the Square of Three Powers, you can find some interesting statues.

Two concrete birds

A giant clothespin, which has become a home for pigeons.

The Lady of Justice

The Warriors

We left the goverment center and crossed the JK (Juscelino Kubitschek) bridge over Lago Paranoa, a recreational lake.  The bridge was built to connect large green spaces with the urban spaces.

It led us to Palacio da Alvorada, the president's residence, where a special flag flies when the President is at home.  This is considered to be the most beautiful of Oscar Niemeyer's buildings.  He was the architect of much of Brasilia and his work is seen in many other Brazilian cities.    

Retiring the flag at 6:00 p.m. in front of the president's palace - and we timed it perfectly to watch the ceremony.  

We have a whole new appreciation for this amazing city that was built in just 5 years to fulfill Kubitschek's election promises but at a huge cost to the whole country.   After the city was built, this whole area of the planalto developed very quickly and it's now one of the most developed agricultural areas of the country.    Of course there were also environmental and indigenous peoples' costs.  


  1. Thanks for sharing. I don't think I've ever seen these photos or heard much about this city. It looks like there's lots of space and openness to the city. Too bad some of those buildings aren't being used for their intended purpose. The architecture is very interesting. As you toured did you still feel like you were in South America?

  2. I love these photos! What an amazing trip.

  3. Some of these photos aren't familiar to me either. Very interesting architecture, hey?

  4. Sorry about that Crystal. I never got it. Maybe it ended up in spam. Guess I need to look through spam closer before deleting.

    Susan Joyce
    13630 S. 285th E. Avenue
    Coweta, OK, 74429

    I'm excited!!! Thanks again.