Wednesday, April 08, 2009



The centre of the Brazilian political power is located in the Monumental Axis of Brasilia: The Plaza of the Three Powers (Legislative, Executive and Judicial) and the Ministries Esplanade. That's what will essentially be shown on this post.

"EAST - ESPLANADA DOS MINISTÉRIOS - From the TV Tower towards East, we see the Monumental Axis. First, there is the intersection with the Highway Axis, then we see the buildings of the Ministries on each side of the Esplanade"

"WEST - CONFERENCE CENTRE - On the other side, towards West, there is the Conference Centre, and a little bit further ahead, the JK (Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira) Memorial"


"SOUTH - CITY PARK - The park (420 hectares), much bigger than the Central Park in New York, was designed by landscaper Athos Bulcão and has skating tracks, soccer fields, racing kart tracks, lots of playgrounds, bars and restaurants, an artificial lake, a wave pool and lots of green space. Actually space is not at premium in Brasilia..."

"SOUTHEAST - The National Library, the Cultural Centre, the Cathedral, the Lake and the JK Bridge"

"PALÁCIO DA ALVORADA (Palace of Dawn), designed by Oscar Niemeyer, is the official residence of the President of Brazil. One of the first buildings to be built in Brasilia, its name comes from JK's quote: «... I look towards the future of my country and foresee this dawn with unbreakable faith in its great destiny...». It was inaugurated on June 30, 1958"

"CONGRESS - Located at the Plaza of the Three Powers, it consists of the Senate (81 members seating on the small dome on the left, three from each State and three from the Federal district) and the Chamber of Deputies (513 members elected proportionally, seating on the large dome on the right hand side of the picture). It was designed by Oscar Niemeyer"

"PLAZA OF THE THREE POWERS with the Congress buildings, the Historical Museum of Brasilia, with José Alves Pedroza's stone head of JK» on its façade (on the left), and the Niemeyer's «Marco», to commemorate the inscription of Brasilia on UNESCO's World Heritage List (on the right)"

"POMBAL (Pigeon's House) - A 20m high concrete sculpture by Oscar Niemeyer, asked for by Mrs. Eloá Quadros, wife of President Jânio Quadros"

"PALÁCIO DO PLANALTO (Plateau Palace), also designed by Niemeyer and located at the Plaza of the Three Powers, is the working office of the President of the Republic. It also includes the offices of the Vice-President and of the Chief of Staff"

"SUPREMO TRIBUNAL FEDERAL (Supreme Federal Court) - It is the highest court in Brazil. It also judges the constitutionality of laws passed by the National Congress. The statue of Justice by Alfredo Ceschiatti stays in front of the building"

"PANTEÃO DA PÁTRIA (The Nation’s Pantheon), in the form of a dove, is dedicated to honoring the memory of Brazilian national heroes, who represent ideals of freedom and democracy. It is named after the President Tancredo Neves, who died before taking office. In front we may see the most famous sculpture in Brazil - Os Guerreiros (The Warriors), better known as «Os Candangos» - by Bruno Giorgi dedicated to the workers who built Brasilia, as well as the «Pira da Pátria», a monument by Niemeyer with the symbolic fire"

"PANTHEON - It is one of 23 buildings in Brasília designed by Oscar Niemeyer that were listed as National Heritage Sites by the National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute. On the left, the 100m high mast shows the (allegedly) largest flag in the world to be flown continuously"

"PALÁCIO DA JUSTIÇA - Another work from Niemeyer, it hosts the Ministry of Justice"

"ITAMARATY - The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, one of Niemeyer's most radiant buildings, is named after the original Itamaraty Palace in Rio de Janeiro. Athos Bulcão created the marble walls, Burle Marx designed the gardens, and Bruno Giorgi carved the sculpture Meteoro"

"PROCURADORIA GERAL DA REPUBLICA - The Office of the Attorney-General, head of the Public Attorneys' structure"

"NATIONAL THEATRE CLAUDIO SANTORO - Started on July 30th, 1960, it was officially completed (after many delays) in March, 1981. The National Theatre, with the shape of a truncated Aztec pyramid, is the biggest architectural centre created by Niemeyer in Brasilia"



Trotter said...

Hi Folks! Brasilia is an architectural case study. And the public buildings are mostly a surprising experience. However, all those looking forward to seeing people, they had better go to Ipanema beach, Rio de Janeiro... and hear Vinicius and Tom Jobim... ;)). Enjoy what you get... ;))

alicesg said...

Hey trotter, am I the first visitor? :) This is the real neat. The city is so beautiful and clean. Always enjoyed your photos. Thanks for sharing.

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Brilliant pictures of some very regal buildings! it is hard to think that such wonderful futuristic designs were actually carved out many many decades ago! Very well presented! Thanks for sharing.

Olivier said...

les vues aériennes sont grandioses et magnifiques. Avec une architecture surprenante, bien digne des années 80.

SusuPetal said...

Interesting architecture, but I admired more the clouds, they are just beautiful in some photos! Architecture of nature:)

hpy said...

You can see architecture by Oscar Niemeyer also in Le Havre, for instance the Volcano. Both places, even though Brasilia seems a little bigger, have not only modern buildings but also a lot of space. Especially if I'm talking about the modern Le Havre, not the parts built before the wars.
Even if you don't like Niemeyer architecture at first, I think you can learn to appreciate it.

Miss Kim said...

Wow! What fantastic architecture!! So forward thinking and with all those upward spikes it's got a very positive feel to it!

Anonymous said...

Very very generous of you to share all these pics... !!!

I would ensure i share these pics only one by one... getting the maximum appreciation for each one... !! lol...

I am a lil more attention craving you see ;)

these are seriously fantabulous pics !!!

the sky pics with the three towers are unbelievable !!!

superb pics !! thanks for sharing and keep clicking !!!

Rajesh said...

Interesting different kind of architecture which is well photographed.

Pietro said...

Gil, these are splendid views of a really interesting architecture. I like so much this sequence of photographs!

Z said...

What a strange place, Brasilia. I'm not sure how I'd like it, but I certainly do hope to see it one day.

Gattina said...

Beautiful and interesting pictures ! The skies are amazing with these big fluffy clouds !

Unknown said...

You never fail to amaze me with your travel pictures Gil. If I could, I'd like to sneak into your pocket and see everything that you do. What a lucky guy you are. As usual, the pictures are awesome! Have a great week Gil

Thérèse said...

Il semble y avoir un grand poumon dans Brasilia. De plus toute cette verdure atténue la construction méthodique de la villee où chaque courbe a été soigneusement encadrée.
Niemayer s'est vraiment éclaté à Brasilia!

april said...

Oh, everything seems to be big and moedern there.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

You really did a wonderful job taking photos of all the important buildings in Barsilia, Gil. I love the blue skies and fluffy white cloud backdrops in them.
The Portuguese Embassy looks so beautiful and tropical. Enjoy the rest of your visit!

Anonymous said...

Stunning photos Gil....every single one of them. That one statue looks like a clothespin. :) Have a joyous weekend. ~ Lynn

Joy said...

I am very surprised by all that concrete. I especially enjoyed the Portuguese Embassy.

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Come back tomorrow!

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PeterParis said...

Amazing that the place is now already almost 50 years old! It would be interesting to see what people think about in another 50 or 100 years! The city planning is one thing, but for the architecture, Oscar N certainly has left an enormous number of remarkable buildings! I understand he's still alive (over 100!) with some projects ongoing! Sometime critisized, but certainly exceptional. He spent quite some time in Paris during the 60's and 70's (in disagreement with the regimein Brazil). He has left at least one remarkable building also in Paris, the Communist Party headquarters.

Shionge said...

So much space the truncated Aztec pyramidere is most interesting to see. Ever wonder why they did not continue with a pointed shape?

Happy Easter Gil ;)

Ming the Merciless said...

Sorry for not visiting for so long. I have a lot of distractions lately. :-)

Brazil is one country I would like to visit in the future, as well as Argentina.

I have see a lot of photos of Rio and Sao Paulo but rarely seen photos of Brasilia. So thanks for showing us the beauty of the city.

Maria Verivaki said...

so this is brasilia, where they speak your language!

Anonymous said...

via your photos, city looks fantastic. thanks for the info too.

lyliane six said...

A part les jardins, les monuments un par un ne me plaisent pas vraiment. Cela ne vaut pas l'Inde et sans être chauvine, Paris!!!

MedaM said...

Wonderful modern designed city! The architectural style of administrative and public buildings is really interesting and impressive. Your photos are fantastic as usual and I really enjoyed. Thanks for sharing.

Vamsee Modugula said...

I like the modern architecture in Brasil....very different series of images than what I usually see of Brasil
You have to come check out nature photography from my trip to Corbett NP.

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

Hello GIL
You are such a faithfull blogfriend!

I like your Brasil photo's , your blog anyhow because of the travels...Great to see the pantheon and (greek looking)theatre. all are very nice and the buildings are all international lookings....Its interesting to know the backgrounds:)I am not a becahtype of person , but now and than its OK, I like cities more and architecture.

Thanks for NOT forgetting me, I am so sorry that I have no PC (its in repair because of T horse infection!)


From JoAnn? Holland
Inside the library Public PC's""

Azer Mantessa said...

The TV Tower, the Monumental Axis, the Conference Center, JK Memorial, the Multipurpose Pavilion, the City Park, the Palace of Dawn, Plaza of the Three Towers, Pombal, The Pantheon, Itamaraty, The National Theatre, … seeing all these located in somewhat a tropical climate is something else.

Can’t wait for more on Brazil … hehehe

[G@ttoGiallo] said...

Never frustrated with your pictures, when you show a place, you really show it and well.

HalfCrazy said...

Wow, everything looks so good from above, just look at the COnference Centre! Majestic and sort of modern - like other buildings in Brasilia!

There are so many trees, they really spent so much money just improving the capital!

Even the clouds are so beautiful!

Neva said...

It looks like an amazing certainly get around!!!! I loved your India shots....sorry I haven't been around...I have had some serious computer issues and can only do a little blogging from work.....hopefully I will be up and running again sooner than is all about time!!!!!

Mariposa said...

wow interesting post. I LOVE the Pantheon picture with the clouds in the background. Stunning!

By the way, if you like to know how we (*oreja and I) started our blog, you can have a look at it here:

take care and have a Happy Easter too =)

bindu said...

So we're off to brazil now! I love the blue patterns in the second picture and the pigeon's house sculpture!

Femin Susan said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind comment feel free to visit again.

Daryl said...

A lot of very nice postcard shots ..

Thanks for visiting my blog. The reason The Dakota is infamous is because John Lennon was killed there ... its also what draws the tourists to come look/take pix

Ron said...

Wonderful pictures. Brasilia looks like a very modern city. I like the looks of the JK Bridge. It would be fun to cross that.

Happy Easter!!

Lori said...

What amazing architecture! The puffy clouds and blue sky only enhance it in your photos. I wonder how many miles you can see in your first few shots. This must have been a great trip!

A Lady's Life said...

Loved the Nations Pantheon. The Pigeons House statue looks like a clothes pin. Almost want to use it lol
SE National Library Pic is very nice with the looping bridge and the multipurpose pavillion looks unreal.
You did a lot of walking blogtrotter.Love the Portuguese Embassy.too. Amazing to see the world through your eyes.
Thanks :)

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

This is such a futuristic city, very modern and unusual. Thanks for sharing.

Baron's Life said...

Great Photography...excellent presentation...but not as exotic as India was.
Frankly, I'm not much into Brazil at all but this is a great post. Thanks for sharing with us.

alice said...

Grandiose! Mais je suis contente de trouver quelques fleurs sur la fin... Bon weekend pascal, Gil!

lyliane six said...

Bonnes Pâques à vous 2 avec du soleil j'espère.

lv2scpbk said...

Beautiful views. The sky looks like you had some really good days with the weather.

Cergie said...

Quelle vastitude ! On se sent si petit et isolé en même temps au milieu de ces monuments si beaux et également si propres, si froids. Il semblerait que personne ne vive là. Hormis dans quatre images ?
Ces volumes différents qui vont des parallépipédes aux pyramides inversées défient les lois de la pesanteur. C'est époustouflant.

Chuckeroon said...

My comment seems to have gone.........anyway, I was impressed but with reservations. Quelle vastitude, as Cergie has said.

JO said...

What an incredible park - beautiful! Looks like a lovely place to get lost in. I really enjoyed the dove building - how unique! And you last pics is a place I'd like to sit all day :)

Trotter said...

Hi Everybody! Thanks for taking your time to see my short stroll in Brasilia! Have a great Easter weekend, either celebrating or not!

Alice SG,
Welcome to start the visitor’s comments! Thanks for your continuous support!

It’s amazing that most of these building were designed almost fifty years ago; that just confirms the forward vision of the author!

En fait, des années 50 et 60... ;)) Vraiment la plupart des bâtiments photographiés ont été bâtis la fin des années cinquante, début des années soixante…

I’ve nothing against the clouds, but I don’t mind having a closer look at the buildings… ;))

Brasilia is surely larger and almost all of the public buildings (and they’re a lot…) were designed by Niemeyer! I’ve never been to Le Havre, but I’ll check it one day…

Very positive and forward thinking indeed!!

Hitch writer,
There are many ways of posting pictures: one a day, every day, like in the Daily Photo, or some at a time, not every day, like in the travelogues... The latter is my style; feels better to tell a story in pictures and I can’t post every single day of the week... ;)). To which one do you refer to when mentioning the «three» towers? To the Pigeon’s House? Amazing, isn’t it...

Thanks for your visit and first time comment here, I believe. Glad to see you touched by the surprise effect of the architecture of Brasilia!!

Interesting yes, but from my view point, surprising...

It’s always a bit tricky to anticipate how we would face the new and the unknown; I can imagine the people that had to move from Rio to Brasilia; I’m sure they didn’t like... The diplomats resisted until 1970, and a threat of cutting diplomatic relations seems to have been needed to ensure the move... ;) But now they like; at least some of them...

Those are like everywhere else... You can’t say the same of what is constructed on the soil... ;))

You’re welcome; but you have to share the pocket with sun from Portugal I always carry when travelling abroad: my pocket sun... ;))

Il y a des poumons partout, tout au tour de Brasilia. Et je suis tout à fait d’accord avec toi : Niemeyer s’est éclaté à Brasilia !!

Modern yes; big, not that much… Except for the park, which is huge… ;)?

This time the buildings were the main purpose, so the skies and the fluffy clouds come only as a free extra… ;))
The visit was over in April 2008, but I hope you’ll still enjoy the next post of it… One year delay, don’t forget… ;)

That was exactly the word I was looking for: clothes pin!! As I didn’t manage to find it, I named the picture according to the original designation… ;)). It’s a pigeon’s house, actually… ;))

It’s concrete «in the jungle» (almost), but not a «concrete jungle»… ;))

It would be interesting, but I’m afraid we won’t see what people will think in 100 years time… ;)). You’re right; I think we should make the difference between the planning by Lúcio Costa (problematic) and the architecture of Niemeyer (controversial)!! He was in France, where he designed the headquarters of the P.C.F. and other buildings, during the military dictatorship in Brazil and is now 101 (December 15, 1907) and still designing… Like Manuel de Oliveira, 100 (December 11, 1908) and shooting movies every year. On December 11, 2008 he was shooting «Singularités d’une jeune fille blonde»… To the attention of the movie lovers… ;))

Tell us: would you volunteer to see the stage from the pointed shape of the pyramid? ;))

Great to read you back here!
Don’t tell a Brazilian that you would love to visit Argentina, «as well»; nor the reverse... You can imagine the respective answers of the «brother» neighbours... ;)) Brasilia isn’t neither like Rio in the tourist tops; nor like S. Paulo in the economy magazines... ;)

Indeed. All around the world, more than 200 million have Portuguese as their mother (and/or father ;)) language...

Sometimes pictures cheat... Not this time!! ;)

Ah bon, il fallait un petit peu de chauvinisme ici; tu ne vas pas me dire qu’ils manquent le «steak et frites» comme il faut... ;)) Ce n’est pas Paris, mais il y a peut-être la plus grande concentration de architecture première classe par mètre carré… ;))
On a eu du tout aujourd’hui: du soleil, du vent, même une petite pluie et de nouveau du soleil…

Interesting and impressive: Agreed!

Brasilia is «slightly» than all the other Brazilian cities... ;)
I’ll check your Corbett National Park trip asap!!

What a disaster that horse! Hope that you manage to get rid of the Trojan in the near future! Meanwhile, enjoy Brasilia... (Inside the Public Library...).

Your Brazil isn’t in Brasilia... Sorry... ;)) Tropical savanna is the climate you may find there... ;))

Thanks! That’s very kind of you!

Usually things look always great from above; even when we’re dealing with modern buildings... ;). They didn’t spend much money planting trees; actually if they did spend some money with trees was chopping some of them rather than planting... ;))

It seems the T-horse virus is attacking bloggers... Thanks for the visit and comment despite the difficulties...

The Pantheon is an odd building, to say the least... ;) I’ll check how everything started asap!

The tiles in the Conference Centre are beautiful! The pigeon’s house sculpture is amazing!!

My pleasure!

Thanks for your visit and comment! I was kidding with the «infamous» and the fact that Boris Karloff (you know...) also lived at the Dakota! ;)
Everybody takes pictures at the Dakota, even the guys that live there; but they send their employees with the cameras and zooms to the Central Park... ;)

I have some more JK bridge pictures on the next post for you to enjoy!

Thanks! It makes sense to note that the sky and the clouds only «enhance» what I wanted to show... They weren’t the purpose of the pictures... ;)
It was a short (very short trip) and working, but nice anyhow. The platform is 75m high, but I can’t figure how far you get to see on a clear day...

The Pantheon is a more recent and amazing building; always Niemeyer’s design! The other Niemeyer – Pombal – is a perfect clothes pin... ;)
I did some walking, but not much; had a car and a driver taking me around. That’s one of the problems of Brasilia: very pedestrian unfriendly, unless you stay inside your «superquadra» (quarter)... ;)

Total agreement: futuristic, very modern and unusual!

Brazil might be exotic in other places, not in Brasilia; but with globalization even India is becoming less and less exotic... Everything goes global!! ;))

C’est vrai qu’il n’était pas facile de trouver des fleurs là bas ; sauf dans quelques maisons privilégiées tout près du lac…

The weather was fine for those couple of days in April!

Il ya vraiment un problème là bas: ce n’est pas facile de se promener à pied à Brasilia. Imagine que tu dois traverser l’Axe Monumentale pour aller d’un Ministère à l’autre juste en face: ça fait presque un quart d’heure (à la chaleur et à la pluie)… ;)) En plus, à 11h00 du matin les gens travaillent (?), sont dedans, pas question d’être dehors flânant… ;). Mais c’est vrai que c’est surprenant!! Ce qui Niemeyer voulait: architecture = innovation, surprise… ;))

Impressed with reservations? Makes sense…

I can imagine you strolling around the City Park with William some years from now; lots of fun!! ;)

Venksh said...

Gil, such superb picx of Brazil wow...
the pic in which u staning in front of that palace is superb...
from my point of view it looks like some modern kinda palace with all new technology lol...


Trotter said...

It's the working office of Mr. Lula da Silva, the current President of Brazil, so I suppose it has «all the new technology»... ;)

Nikon said...

I love the National Theater & the last shots of the Portuguese Embassy.
I'm amazed by the cloud formations. Looks very tropical there!

Trotter said...

The Theatre is amazing! The Embassy is nice! Tropical savanna is how they name the climate...

Light and Voices said...

Brasilia certainly is going on my "bucket list." Fantastic photography!

Trotter said...

The buildings are fantastic>; the photos, just regular... ;))