Brasília (Portuguese pronunciation: [bɾaˈziljɐ]) is the federal capital of Brazil and the capital of the Federal District. The city is located along the Brazilian Highlands on the country’s Central-West region. It was founded on April 21, 1960, to serve as the new national capital. Brasília had an estimated population of 2,789,761 in 2013, making it the 4th most populous city in Brazil.
Among major Latin American cities, Brasília has the highest GDP per capita.
Brasília was planned and developed by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer in 1956 in order to move the capital from Rio de Janeiro to a more central position. The landscape architect was Roberto Burle Marx. The city’s design divides it into numbered blocks as well as sectors for specified activities, such as the Hotel Sector, the Banking Sector and the Embassy Sector. Brasília was chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its modernist architecture.
The city has a unique status in Brazil, as it is an administrative division rather than a legal municipality like other cities in Brazil. Nationally, the term is almost always used synonymously with the Federal District, which constitutes an indivisible Federative Unit, analogous to a state. Several “satellite cities” are also part of the Federal District.
The centers of all three branches of the federal government of Brazil are in Brasília, including the Congress, President, and Supreme Court. The city also hosts 124 foreign embassies. Brasília International Airport connects the capital to all major Brazilian cities and many international destinations, and is the third busiest airport in Brazil.
As a venue for political events, music performances and movie festivals, Brasília is a cosmopolitan city, with around 124 embassies, a wide range of restaurants and complete infrastructure ready to host any kind of event. Not surprisingly, the city stands out as an important business tourism destination, which is an important part of the local economy, with dozens of hotels spread around the national capital. Traditional parties take place throughout the year. In June, large festivals known as “festas juninas” are held celebrating Catholic saints such as Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Peter. On September 7, the traditional Independence Day parade is held on the Ministries Esplanade. Throughout the year, local, national, and international events are held throughout the city. Christmas is widely celebrated, and New Year’s Eve usually hosts major events.
The city also hosts a varied assortment of art works from artists like Bruno Giorgi, Alfredo Ceschiatti, Athos Bulcão, Marianne Peretti, Alfredo Volpi, Di Cavalcanti, Dyllan Taxman, Victor Brecheret and Burle Marx, whose works have been integrated into the city’s architecture, making it a unique landscape. The cuisine in the city is very diverse. Many of the best restaurants in the city can be found in the Asa Sul district.