Brasília Travel Guide
Brasília, capital of Brazil, is a fascinating city, remarkable for its avant-garde architecture and its unprecedented symmetry and simplicity. It is laid out along a "Pilot Plan," in the shape of an airplane, the brainchild of architect-cum-planner Lucio Costa. The scores of imaginative buildings were designed mainly by Oscar Niemeyer, architect of the UN headquarters in New York, while the landscaping is the work of Roberto Burle Marx who was instrumental in landscaping Rio's parks and streets and who has in turn given Brasilia the country's largest urban park. The city, in any case, is relatively new, at least by international standards, developed in only 1960, carved out of an inland wilderness in central-west Brazil, some 600 miles northwest of Rio. And while its grand scale and seemingly barren superquadras with their monolithic sculptures and monumental landmark structures can often be jarring – described by 20th-century French writer Simone de Beauvoir as "the same air of elegant monotony" – there's no denying Brasília's lofty aspirations, rooted in its utopian city plan and showcased in its bold, modernist architecture.
Brasília is situated in the central-west Brazilian state of Goiás, approximately 600 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro or the same distance north of São Paulo.
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