World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Brasilia

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World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Brasilia
Brasilia was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 (Getty Thinkstock)

Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, is one of the youngest capitals in the world. It was built in the late 1950s in order to set a counterpoint to the big coastal cities, like São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, which was the nation's capital until Brasilia was founded. Brasilia was entirely designed beforehand by famous architects Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer as a large modern city in the Brazilian Highlands, with thousands of artistic, historical and ecological attractions. We will show you the sights in Brasilia you can not miss.

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Metropolitan Cathedral Nossa Senhora Aparecida

The Metropolitan Cathedral Nossa Senhora Aparecida, designed by the architect Oscar Niemeyer and built in 1970, is one of Brasilia's most emblematic sights. It is a very modern and innovative sanctuary, built in a style very different from conventional religious shrines. Its streamlined structure seems to open up towards heaven, and is meant to represent two hands reaching upward. The temple itself was actually built beneath the ground level, which gives the roof the appearance of floating overhead. The Cathedral is located at Esplanada dos Ministerios, Lote 12.

World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Brasilia
Metropolitan Cathedral, an emblem of Brasilia. (Franck Camhi/Hemera/Getty Images)

Dom Bosco Sanctuary

This Sanctuary, designed by Claudio Navesel and dedicated to São João Bosco, was built with a mixture of gothic and modern features, and is another great example of ecclesiastical architecture in Brasilia. It's best to visit the Sanctuary early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the sun shines directly through the stained glass windows and colours the nave in cool violet and blue hues. The temple is uninterrupted by columns, forming a wide open space, featuring an enormous crystal and gold chandelier that hangs from the ceiling, among other works of art. Dom Bosco Sancturay can be visited at Av. W3 Sul Quadra 702 Lt. B.

World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Brasilia
Dom Bosco Sanctuary can be found at Av. W3 Sul Quadra 702 Lt. B. (King Ho Yim/iStock/Getty Images)

National Congress

This pair of 28-storied towers in the shape of an H were designed by Oscar Niemeyer to house the Brazilian National Congress. Harmonizing with the capital's clean cut grid, the building is a symbol of the Legislative branch and the country's government. Brazil's Congress is bicameral, composed by the Federal Senate, which holds its sessions in the concave building at ground level, while the Chamber of Deputies holds its own in the convex dome.

World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Brasilia
The National Congress faces the Praça dos Três Poderes (Franck Camhi/Hemera/Getty Images)

Praça dos Três Poderes

The Praça dos Tres Poderes is one of the biggest squares in Brasilia, and draws its name from the three governmental buildings around it: the National Congress, where the legislative branch resides; the Palácio do Planalto, where the President has his office; and the Federal Supreme Court, where the nation's judiciary branch has its seat. The square was also designed by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer as an harmonious meeting point for the three state powers, and features some impressive statues: Niemeyer's Pombal, Bruno Giorgi's Os Candangos, and Alfredo Ceschaitti's Justiça. The Praça dos Três Poderes is located at the Esplanada dos Ministérios.

World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Brasilia
Oscar Niemeyer and Lúcio Costa designed the Praça dos Três Poderes (Franck Camhi/Hemera/Getty Images)

Juscelino Kubitschek Memorial

Inaugurated in 1981 and designed by Niemeyer, the Juscelino Kubitschek Memorial is a museum where, among other things, the remains of the founder of Brasilia, President Kubitschek are kept. The memorial serves mostly as a research and exhibition centre, as it holds the president's personal archives and other important documents in the history of the city. It is located on Praça do Cruzeiro, on the Eixo Monumental Lado Oeste.

World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Brasilia
JK Memorial, the museum where president's Kubitschek's remains are held. (InkaOne/iStock/Getty Images)

Digital TV Tower

Brasilia's Digital TV Tower, also known as the Flor do Cerrado ("Cerrado flower") , is 180 metres tall and the tallest building in Brasilia. It has two glass domes representing two flowers. One of them holds a restaurant while the other is an exhibition hall. It also has a viewpoint at a height of 75 meters, providing an impressive panoramic view of Brasilia. The tower is open to visitors every Saturday, Sunday and on holidays. The Digital TV Tower can be found at DF-001, Lago Norte.

World Cup Brazil: Things to do in Brasilia
The Digital TV Tower is the tallest building in Brasilia. (Gabriel R F via Compfight cc)

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