|Aboard the tourist bus|
- Boggling Brasília – overview of a planned metropolis
- June 14, 2011- Bewitching Brasília -birds eye view of the capital
- June 17, 2011- Appraising Brasília –How does this planned city rate?
- July 28, 2011: Touring Brasília – the Tourist Experience
The semi-sphere on the left is the seat of the Senate. Currently, the Senate comprises 81 seats with three Senators from each of Brazil’s 26 states and the Federal District. Senators serve eight-year terms.
The semi-sphere on the right is the seat of the Chamber of the Deputies. There are 513 deputies representing their disticrts.
Between them are two vertical office towers for the Congress.
In front of the complex there is a large lawn -used predominantly for demonstrations and a reflecting pool.
Behind the congress is the Praça dos Três Poderes (Three Powers Square). Three Powers Square is where the Monumental Axis finishes. This is Ground Zero for Brasilia. The buildings representing and housing the three powers that “rule” Brazil were the reason why the entire city was planned and built.. The other two Powers are represented by the President’s Palace (Palácio do Planalto) and the Supremo Tribunal Federal.
|Looking toward Supreme Court|
I didn’t like the Square. It felt too sterile, too barren and too large. To me, it makes the three buildings which are all great buildings feel distant and forbidding. I also would have thought having these buildings closer down toward the lake would have been a more pleasant backdrop. This would have meant orienting the city further east.
There were many people there on the day I visited but the square felt empty.
|Democracy Monument, 3 Powers Square|
What made the President’s Palace fun this visit were the school kids trying to make the Presidential Guardsman react. Like their London counterparts, the guardsmen who protect the President stand unsmiling and almost unblinking.
The Palace was finished in 1958 before the City was opened. It has since been thoroughly renovated.
The Palace of Justice is made more attractive with the addition of flowing waterfalls along the front. It stands opposite the Foreign Affairs Ministry which has a lovely reflective pool out the front.
We went past the National Library which again looks good but looks lost in a barren concrete landscape and the Cultural Centre which looked lifeless. In a nation with such an exuberant culture, it could have looked much more alive.
Niemeyer also designed the first building at the University of Brasília and the first hotel both of which I didn’t have time to see.
His latest project (at the age of 103) is Digital Television Tower which should be opened sometime this year. It looks amazing!