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Attractions and things to do in Brasília

National Museum and the Cathedral of Brasilia in Brasilia, Brazil

Brasilia – Cathedral of Brasilia

Known formally as Catedral Metropolitana da Nossa Senhora Aparecida, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Brasilia is an icon of Brazil's capital city. Designed by the legendary Oscar Niemeyer, an acclaimed architect of an entire collection of public buildings in Brazil, the Cathedral of Brasilia was built during the 1960s and incorporates a circular shape, 16 signature curved columns, artistic stained glass windows and four 3-metre-tall bronze statues designated the Four Evangelists which stand in the square access to the Cathedral. As you walk through the dark tunnel entrance of this very modern cathedral, feel your spirits lifted as you enter its strikingly bright interior with fresh colours, glass roof and peaceful ambience. Inside the cathedral are plenty of divine features to interest you such as three sculptures of angels suspended over the nave; an altar donated by Pope Paul VI; a replica of the statue of the patron saint Our Lady of Aparecida in São Paulo; The Way of the Cross by Di Cavalcanti and many other replicas and paintings. If you can, visit the Cathedral of Brasilia at night when it is lit up with an array of colours creating a very scenic moment.

 

Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge

Crossing Lake Paranoá and connecting the southside of the lake to St. Sebastian Paranoá in central Brasília is the attractive Juscelino Kubitschek Bridge, iconic for its 200-foot-tall asymmetrical steel arches that crisscross the bridge diagonally. Measuring a total of 1200 metres, the award-winning JK Bridge, named after a former president of Brazil, when viewed from a distance is a marvellous sight. This brilliant piece of modern arquitecture, designed by Alexandre Chan, contains a dual carriageway with three lanes on either side as well as two walkways for cyclists, skaters and pedestrians wishing to make their way across the bridge. This is a beautiful attraction of the city to visit during the day or even at night when the bridge is illuminated.

 

The Three Powers Plaza

Praça dos Três Poderes or the Three Powers Plaza, has grown into a huge tourist attraction over the years uniting a series of well-known landmarks of the city and Brazil as a whole such as the Planalto Palace, the National Congress, the Federal Supreme Court, Itamaraty Palace, and the Ministries Esplanade. Its name derives from the three governmental powers of the country that are harmoniously brought together within the plaza – the Executive; the Legislative; and the Judiciary, all adding to this locations importance. Modern in its plan and known as one of Oscar Niemeyer's most interesting designs, there are plenty more points of interest within or near the plaza for you to discover including museums, symbolic sculptures and the largest flag in the world at 600kg since Brasília was inaugurated as the capital of the country in 1960.

 

Itamaraty Palace

Located near the Three Powers Plaza, the Itamaraty Palace is another one of Oscar Niemeyer's inspiring designs and considered a masterpiece of contemporary architecture. Standing next to a reflecting pool creating a mirror image of the palace, the Itamaraty houses the Foreign Relations Office and contains an extraordinary collection of objects and works of art by Brazilian artists. Resembling a palace built of glass with islands of gardens featuring plants from the Amazon region, and a sculpture known as the Meteoro based at the front of Itamaraty since 1967, the exterior of the Palace is unsurprisingly picturesque. An eye-catching spiral staircase links each floor of the Palace and elegant indoor gardens help decorate its interior. Open to the public for free, take a guided tour round this splendid attraction on any day of the week.

 

Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha

Named in homage to the Brazilian football legend Mané Garrincha, the beautiful Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha is a multipurpose stadium used mainly for football matches but also music concerts. Located within the Ayrton Senna Multisport Complex and with a capacity for over 71,000 spectators, the stadium is to be one of the hosts of the 2014 FIFA World Cup as well as the 2016 Summer Olympics.

 

Brasília's Television Tower

The Television Tower may not be Brasília's prettiest attraction but it is the tallest man-made structure of the city at 224 metres. Furthermore, it offers the best views across Brazil's capital, its monuments and skyline from an observation deck 75 metres off the ground. The TV Tower is a popular location for watching the sunset also. Located in between two avenues at the centre of Monumental Axis, the TV Tower is open free to the public from 8am till 8pm and can be easily reached from the hotels sector. At the base of the tower you will find a local handicraft fair.

 

Palácio da Alvorada

Probably one of the most major landmarks in all of Brazil, the Palácio da Alvorada or "Palace of Dawn" is the official residence of the President of Brazil. Located along the margins of Paranoá Lake and designed by Oscar Nieeyer in a modernist style, the Alvorada Palace is stunning to the human eye. Completed in 1958, this spectacular attraction is distinguished as being a National Historic Heritage Site. It comprises an area of 7000 square metres and contains exquisite features throughout its every floor and room.

 

Dom Bosco Church

Brasília's Dom Bosco Church and Sanctuary is not to be missed when in the city whether you are religious or not. From the outside, you might feel tempted to just keep walking but do not make such a mistake! From the inside, Dom Bosco Church is filled with inspiring features and an atmosphere that will leave you lost for words as you are immersed in all its glory. Containing interesting statues and sculptures, the church's most impressive highlights are its tall stained glass windows which are blue in colour and which cause one of the most incredible radiant effects throughout the entire church.

 

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

The Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil or CCBB for short, is a highly interesting centre which is particularly acclaimed for its brilliant exhibitions of the highest quality related to performance, cinema and art. It is recommended that a visit be made when an exhibition is on show so that you may experience the centre's entire space to the fullest. Located nearby the Lago Sul lake, the CCBB also contains two cafés, a pleasant garden, permanent sculptures and wide open spaces for children to enjoy. Access to the CCBB is free or at least very affordable on certain occasions making it an appealing attraction for any kind of person seeking a cultural afternoon.

 

Parque da Cidade

Parque da Cidade or City Park is one of the few natural attractions of Brasília city. Bigger than New York City's famous Central Park, the City Park is a beautiful green space that serves as an area where people can go to enjoy a number of outdoor activities such as cycling, jogging, skating, and strolling which is otherwise difficult in any other part of the capital. City Park is location ideal for family picnics and barbecues and also offers a large number of exercise stations, sports courts, a beautiful lake and a reasonable sized amusement park offering fun for all!

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